Research Data

A detailed and accurate research record is the foundation of any research project. The Ohio State University Policy on Research Data states the importance of preserving such records and specifies the responsibilities and rights for access to, use of, maintenance, transfer, and retention of data resulting from scientific research.

An organized and valid research record is critical should questions arise regarding the accuracy or integrity of the data.  Many cases of data falsification, fabrication, and/or authorship disputes and plagiarism, arise when data is not properly managed. While paper-based lab notebooks have worked well for many years, technological advances now allow many research records to be captured digitally.  There are tools available to make electronic record-keeping easy and help to ensure that all researchers are compliant with the laws and regulations governing research. Ohio State has implemented Lab Archives® for use by all faculty, staff, and students.

About Lab Archives®

Lab Archives ® is a cloud-based electronic lab notebook that is safe and secure, allowing principal investigators, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, lab managers, staff and collaborators (both internal and external) to create, save, share, and retain research data.  Researchers can store any type of data including, text, tables, and images, and file or photo attachments can be easily added.  This electronic lab notebook allows researchers to effortlessly organize and share data to validate results, prepare data for publication, easily access data and prevent the loss of data.

NOTE: Lab Archives is only currently approved for data classified as S1-S3 (Public – Private). It is not approved for any data classified as S4 (Restricted).


How do I access Lab Archives?

Lab Archives is accessed using your OSU name.# login and password at Once you have created your Lab Archives account, your log in process will vary depending on if you are on-campus or off-campus. For step-by-step instructions see bullets below:

Where can I get training on using Lab Archives?

Instructional materials can be found at .

Can I use my Lab Archive Notebook for research involving Human Subjects data?

At this time the use of Lab Archives is approved for data classified as S1-S3 (Public – Private). Any Human subjects data that is classified as S4 (e.g., data subject to HIPAA regulation) would not be allowed in Lab Archives.

Can I use my Lab Archive Notebook for research involving export controlled data?

At this time the use of Lab Archives is approved for data classified as S1-S3 (Public – Private). Any export-controlled data classified as S4 (e.g., data received or generated under a Technology Control Plan) would not be allowed in Lab Archives. Please contact if you are unsure if your data is export controlled.

Will using Lab Archives impact my ability to patent my research?

The use of Lab Archives itself does not impact your IP rights as long as you have not made a public disclosure of your research. A public disclosure is generally any non-confidential oral or written description of the research results (the invention) made available to members of the public. Public disclosures would include telling someone outside of Ohio State about your invention including providing access to your research results in Lab Archives by sharing your electronic lab notebook or making any results ‘public’ in that tool. Any “public disclosure” of an invention, when it is not disclosed under a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA) or before a patent application is filed, can lead to a loss of patent rights for the invention.


2018 OR Records Retention Schedule

Institutional Data Policy Calculator