RES-002: Laboratory Notebook and Recordkeeping

Date: 06/23/2004 Status: Final
Last Revised:
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Applies To: University-wide.
Reason for Policy:

This policy describes the University’s position of the importance of recordkeeping in research to ensure that complete data is maintained in an accessible format to support verification of research processes undertaken and of the data obtained as an outcome of such processes.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Data (2):

    The results of research procedures.

  • Laboratory Notebook:

    The logbook of all processes and procedures performed in the course of research which shall be kept in such a manner as to enable an investigator to reproduce the steps taken.

Policy Statement:

The investigators and all research fellows, assistants, technicians and students involved in research activities, shall maintain complete and verifiable records of the procedures they have followed in pursuing all research, and the subsequent data they have thereby obtained.

  1. Recording and Storage of Laboratory Data:
    The retention of accurately recorded and retrievable results is of the utmost importance in the conduct of research, and it is the responsibility of each investigator to maintain such records in a secure location.

Data and notebooks resulting from sponsored research are the property of the University of Virginia. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to retain all raw data in laboratory notebooks (or other appropriate format) for at least five years after completion of the research project (i.e., publication of a paper describing the work, or termination of the supporting research grant, whichever comes first) unless required to be retained longer by contract, law, regulation, or by some reasonable continuing need to refer to them.

If the principal investigator leaves the University of Virginia, he or she may transfer such data to another institution, provided that the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies is informed of this transfer and approves of it. This shall be subject to the proviso that the University is given written assurance that the data will be retained for the required five-year minimum retention period.

The notebook or logbook shall be kept in a secure location where it cannot be removed by an unauthorized person.

Major Category: Research Administration
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 06/23/2004
Revision History: Previous version in effect from 6/24/1994 to 6/22/2004.
Supersedes (previous policy):
XV.E.5, Recordkeeping (Notebook).