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Research Data Management: Research Data Classification & Handling

Research Data Classification and Handling Guide

The Research Data Classification and Handling Guide has been put together by NTU Library, Research Integrity and Ethics Office and Research Support Office, to provide guidance on the proper handling of research data in NTU. This is to support compliance with the NTU Data Governance Policy (click here to access the Annexes - refer to Annex F for research datathat was issued on 8 February 2021. This guide also complements the NTU Research Data Policy.

The Guide is applicable to all persons involved in the collection/generation/acquiring, processing, analysing, archiving, preserving and providing access to research data. These persons include NTU faculty, research staff, staff, students, visiting personnel, and all persons engaged under a contract for service. In the event of inconsistency or discrepancy between the Policy and this Guide, the stricter terms will apply.

The Guide covers the following key areas:

1. NTU Research Data Classification

  • Definitions of Classification Levels
  • Types of Research Data for each Classification Level

2. Research Data (Digital and Non-digital) Handling Guidelines

  • Labelling
  • Storage and Access
  • Transmission
  • Retention
  • Disposal/Destruction



  • The online Research Data Classification and Handling Guide webpage is accessible only by NTU members. To access, click here.
  • To download the PDF version, click here.


Research Data Handling SOP

All heads of NTU Units and PIs of Research Teams shall put in place a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their Personnel to follow whenever there is a data handling practice for which an SOP does not exist. All data handling practices of their Personnel, and all related SOPs, shall be reviewed at least once every 3 years, to check for compliance with the NTU Data Governance Policy and Research Data Policy.

  • For PIs with existing SOPs (e.g. collection, processing, analysis and storage of research data), data handling SOP may be incorporated as a component into above-mentioned SOPs.
  • For PIs without SOPs, they are strongly recommended to refer to the Data Governance Policy Checklist.