Research data management

Learn how to manage your research data from planning stage to publishing.

Legal and ethical considerations

Data collected and produced through research processes may be required to meet privacy, confidentiality and cultural considerations for reasons and in circumstances such as:

  • Personal information, tissue and health information data collected from humans
  • Data collected from research with live animals
  • Research data that may be culturally or socially sensitive
  • Research data with potential intellectual property issues
  • Re-use of research data

All human research at Victoria (research involving human participants, their data or tissue), relevant teaching activities, and research involving highly sensitive information is subject to the Human Ethics Policy and Guidelines. Data will need to be archived for sharing, for review, replicability and reproducibility in the interests of academic integrity. Data must be stored securely, and confidentiality and privacy protected through the anonymisation of personal information or data and culturally sensitive data. Steps to anonymise such  data should be considered, if appropriate, at the start of a research process and indicated in ethics applications.

Intellectual property agreements regarding the ownership, security and re-use of data may be required to protect shared data as part of collaborative research projects, particularly research involving external institutions.

What are the relevant policies and guidelines?

Researchers need to consult the following policies and guidelines at Victoria University of Wellington:

The Treaty of Waitangi Statute - Clause 4.1(q) discusses standards of integrity.

Human Ethics Policy and Human Ethics Guidelines

Animal Ethics Policy and the Code of Ethical Conduct for the Use of Live Animals for Teaching and Research

Ownership of research for staff and research students is subject to the Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington Intellectual Property Policy

The university's Research Policy provides an overarching framework for the development and implementation of all research management, including 4.2 Statutory and Ethics Obligations and 4.9 Publication and Intellectual Property.

Copyright at Victoria University of Wellington provides information about and links to relevant copyright law and Creative Commons licensing options, for example, for shared and open data (see Licensing data for re-use below).

Cultural guidelines

Māori research:

Any researcher who uses or creates intellectual property based wholly or partly on mātauranga or taonga Māori is advised to contact the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) for further discussion about Māori research policies, practices and support.

The following documents provide guidelines for Māori research:

Tikanga at Victoria provides some helpful Māori research related advice and links, including Tikanga and research (p.16).

Te Ara Tika Guidelines for Māori research ethics provide a national framework for researchers and ethics committee members developed by Pūtaiora (Māori members of ethics committees) and the National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC). It identifies expectations of ethical research behaviour from minimum standards to good practice and best practice.

Te Mata Ira Guidelines for Genomic research with Māori, 2016, discuss the use of, sharing and access to data in genomic research.

Pasifika research:

 Pacific Health Research Guidelines include advice on researching with Pacific communities.


What legislation is relevant?

The following legislation is relevant to research data management at Victoria University of Wellington:

Official Information Act 1982
Copyright Law in NZ overview
Copyright Act 1994
Privacy Act 1993


How can I Iicense data for re-use?

Licensing data for re-use, mixing and sharing is possible through Creative Commons Licensing, a non-profit scheme that provides a set of licenses to expand and enhance existing, traditional copyright.

Visit Creative Commons for a full explanation of all licences, and Creative Commons NZ Open access to research.


What support is available in meeting legal and ethical considerations?

Victoria University provides support with ethics, repository, storage and technology.

Ethics – Research Office:

Repository guidelines and open access - Library

Technology and storage – ITS