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Research Data Management: Data Classification & Handling

Updated on 21 Sep 2020

NTU Research Data Classification

Unclassified/Open -
Level 1

Restricted -
Level 2

Confidential -
Level 3

Highly Confidential -
Level 4

Sensitivity Low or no sensitivity Moderate Moderate high High

Research Data includes (but not limited to)

  1. Public domain information available to general public.
  2. Research data in publications/ journals made available on open-access platforms (includes PhD theses/ FYP reports in DR-NTU).
  3. Published research data in open-access data repositories (e.g. DR-NTU (Data),
  4. Research-related documents (e.g. protocols) and drafts of research papers published on public domains and preprint servers (e.g. ResearchGate, bioRxiv).
  5. Study recruitment posters for public viewing and consumption.
  6. Published intellectual property (IP) and IP related documents/ information
  1. Research related documents such as research protocols/ SOPs.
  2. Drafts of research paper.
  3. Research-in-progress data (that is not already classified under Levels 3 or 4).
  4. Unpublished data from completed research (that is not already classified under Levels 3 or 4).
  5. Unpublished intellectual property (IP) and IP related documents/ information.
  1. Identifiable personal data[i]  obtained through research studies.
  2. De-identified data which can be made identifiable through various means[ii].
  3. Research data (raw and processed) governed by research contracts, non-disclosure agreements, export control clauses or data use agreements by which the data provider requires high-level security measures.

  1. Research data (or source data) under the scope of OSA, or government data classified as Secret.

[i] Refer to the IRB Guideline page for examples of identifiable personal data.
[ii] Irreversibly de-identified personal data (i.e. linkages must be permanently deleted) can be re-classified as Level 2 (if unpublished) or Level 1 (if published).