Data Retention and Disposal infrastructure and policies

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09 Jun 2023
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Meeting objectives: 


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Researchers are producing larger and larger volumes of data. After the advent of genomic sequencing, the next wave of large volume data is coming off imaging and characterisation instruments, which are able to capture images at ever-increasing resolutions.

For research institutions this brings the challenge of having to deal with increasing volumes of data that are expected to be stored on working data storage. Meanwhile, the price of storage is no longer dropping enough to keep up with the increased demand for storage space.

As a result of this, it is increasingly incumbent upon research institutions to consider ways of deciding which data is worth retaining, which data can be moved onto cheaper storage, and which data can be disposed of. A key element in this process is understanding the data that is actually held on these working storage allocations and who can make decisions on the value of the data within these allocations.

In this session we will hear from several speakers about the infrastructures and policies they are developing to support decision making regarding which data should be retained and which should be disposed of. This will be followed by a guided discussion bringing together perspectives from around the globe.

The objetive of the meeting are

  • To increase the understanding across research institutions on current discussions in Data Retention and Disposal infrastructures and policies

  • To share key considerations, best practices and approaches adopted by research institutions relating to Data Retention and Disposal infrastructures and policies

  • To support research institutions in ensuring valuable data is retained

Meeting agenda: 
  1. Introduction to the RDARI IG (5 mins)
  2. Key challenges related to Retention and Disposal of Research Data (5 min)
  3. Speaker: Luc Betbeder-Matibet, UNSW Australia, Director Research Technology Services UNSW. Data Retention and Disposal in a joint project across 4 Australian Universities (10 min)
  4. Speaker: Fabian Monheim, Leibniz Institute for Aging (FLI). [Title TBC] (10 min)
  5. Q&A (10 min)
  6. Structured discussion (35 min)
  7. Preparing for the next plenary - Research Data Architectures in the Global South (5 minutes)
  8. Wrap up (5 min)
Target Audience: 

The target audience of this Interest Group includes anyone involved in research data infrastructure projects or services as well as researchers with an interest in systems, technologies and data flows at the institutional level. This includes research infrastructure developers, data stewards, project managers, ICT architects, senior managers with responsibility for research IT services, data scientists, and representatives of NRENS. Representatives of the service or technology vendors and data industry are also very welcome.

This session may be of particular interest to those working in research institutions that are responsible for designing infrastructure or making decisions around the retention or disposal of research data holdings. 

No advanced preparation for this session is required, but a willingness to engage in the conversation and share experiences in making decisions on which data to retain and dispose of and examples of existing infrastructure and policies that meet these needs, will help ensure that this is a richly informative session.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Research Data Architectures in Research Institutions Interest Group (RDARI) is primarily concerned with technical architectures for managing research data within universities and other multi-disciplinary research institutions. It provides insight into the approaches being taken to the development and operation of such architectures and their success or otherwise in enabling good practice.

Short Group Status: 

Recognized and endorsed. Active since 2018.

Type of Meeting: 
Informative meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Keith Russell; James A J Wilson