If you are talking about data that supports the conclusions of the research, then it should be retained so that others can review the source/data information and come to the same conclusions.  You may want to review how the research is funded - working at a large University myself much of our research funding is either federal, state or local monies - or for drug/device trials industry sponsored - and there are a load of different regulations you have to review to make sure you are meeting the retention required by the funding organization.  Even private organizations place retentions on the records associated with research done with their funds.  

For research data, working papers, etc. we have a standard of retention of 5 years after the end of the study and when reference value ends - this leaves it up to the researcher to decide if the information should be retained longer because it has a value to continued research, and allows for the sponsor (the organization funding the research) to set their own retention for a longer time period if necessary.

Happy to discuss off line if you wish,

<My organization conducts a lot of academic research.  This research is then published through a journal, white paper, or a book.  We have retention periods for the research and the publications, but not for additional information that is gathered to support the creation of the published materials.  Are there any list members that handle these type of research publications or have any guidance on what such a retention period would typically be?  I have consulted a couple universities and they were not able to assist as they are asking similar questions at this time.>

Caroline J Walters, CRM
University Records Officer
Information Security, Policy & Records Office
University of Virginia
Box 400898
Charlottesville, VA 22904
(434) 243-9162
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