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Data Management | Swinburne

Guiding principles

Swinburne expects staff, students and visitors engaged in research to: 

  • observe the highest standards of the responsible conduct of research 
  • embrace the highest ethical, professional and scholarly standards in research 
  • demonstrate intellectual honesty 
  • promote a strong research culture 
  • meet responsibilities to the research community and the public 
  • protect the rights, dignity, health, safety and privacy of individual research participants and the wider community 
  • strive to ensure that the benefits of research results are passed on to other researchers, professional practitioners and the wider community 
  • emphasise quality and originality 
  • be open to scrutiny and debate of research methods and results.


The management of research data should be consistent with the above principles and expectations. Swinburne recognises the value of data generated through research and the importance of that data to justify — and defend when necessary — the outcomes of research.


Swinburne is committed to: 

  • maintaining the integrity of research data 
  • clarifying standards for secure data retention 
  • optimising the benefits of research through collecting, storing and making research data accessible in such a way that it can be used in future by members of the community
  • establishing guidelines for retention and disposal of research data and records that accord with legal, statutory, ethical, professional and funding body requirements.

For more information about academic conduct please visit the Swinburne Policies and Regulations page.

Laboratory notebook guidelines 

As per the Code, anyone involved in research is responsible for retaining clear, accurate and complete records of all research and, where possible, must allow access and reference to these records by interested parties.

The purpose of a laboratory notebook is to provide a record with sufficient detail to enable anyone with a certain level of expertise to be able to understand what was done. Laboratory notebooks can be vital in establishing ownership of intellectual property, verifying procedures and avoiding claims of scientific misconduct. Good record-keeping also ensures that you have an accurate record of your studies, which can help you write your thesis or next paper.  

A good laboratory notebook does not need to be wordy but it should be comprehensive and unambiguous. There should be enough information included so that experiments can be independently reproduced based on what was recorded. The notebook should be bound and have consecutively numbered pages, such as the notebooks available at the Swinburne Bookstore. If an electronic notebook is used then you must ensure that it’s possible to identify who created each entry and the date of its creation, as well as ensure that the entries can’t be amended without a record of that amendment.

Laboratory notebooks remain the property of Swinburne and must remain at Swinburne even if you leave the University. In each laboratory a logbook should be kept of the various notebook numbers, locations and where any other files or data (electronic or otherwise) relating to the notebooks are stored.

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