CON Research Data Security and Storage

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Research Data Security and Storage Subsection: 6.2.6
Section 6.0 - Facilities and Resources Originating Date: March 2017
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Nursing Research Committee

Final Approving Agency:
Executive Council


In agreement with UNMC Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Policies and Procedures, the purpose of the policy on data security and storage is to ensure the secure storage of research data on all five UNMC College of Nursing campuses to protect the privacy interests of research subjects; to maintain the confidentiality of data; and to prevent unauthorized access, intrusion, and theft of data.

Ensuring the security of stored data is governed by HRPP Policy 3.3, Privacy Interests and Confidentiality of Research/Registry Data.

Data that are stored in hardcopy should be stored behind two locks (i.e., locked cabinet in a locked office). Double locks are necessary because not all personnel who have access to a researcher’s office should also have access to the researcher’s data. Thus, research data must always be stored in a locked cabinet.

The Principal Investigator (PI) must verify on the IRB application that only those with a “need to know” have access to the research data. Anyone who accesses stored research data must have obtained prior permission from the PI.

If the data are extracted and stored on an electronic device such as a hard drive or mobile device (e.g., flash drive, laptops, PDAs), it must be stored in a physically secured manner. The user must take additional security precautions such as encryption and password protection.

Per HRPP Policy 3.5, Retention of Research Records, all research records must be maintained and stored securely, in accordance with Nebraska State Law, for at least seven years beyond the termination of the study or longer as required by sponsors. At the end of the seven years, the data must be appropriately archived or destroyed.


Researchers in need of space to store research data must inform and request secure storage facilities from appropriate personnel at all five divisions, in order to meet UNMC and Nebraska State Law data security and storage policies. The assistant deans from each of the divisions and the Associate Dean for Research are responsible for identifying suitable storage facilities for research data at each of the sites.