SFU Records Retention Schedule and Disposal Authority (RRSDA)
Research Agreement (Private Records) Files

Description | PIB | Authorities | Retentional rational | Rentention and filing guidelines | Status

RRSDA number


Record series

Research Agreement (Private Records) Files

Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)

Archives and Records Management Department

Retention periods

Records Active retention (in office) Semi-active (records centre) Total retention Final disposition
Archives and Records Management Department: CY agreement signed / approved + 6 years Nil CY agreement signed / approved + 6 years Full Retention by Archives
Research Agreement Register Permanent Nil Permanent Full retention

CY = Current calendar year; CFY = Current fiscal year; CS = Current semester; S/O = Superseded or obsolete; OPR = Office of Primary Responsibility; Non-OPR = All other departments.

Description, purpose and use of records

Records relating to legal agreements between researchers and the University Archives establishing the terms and conditions of access to private records in the Archives' custody and control.

Records include the original signed agreement forms, descriptions of research projects, correspondence and memoranda.

"Private records" refers to any documentary materials which are not official university records. These include records donated to the University Archives by organizations which are legally independent of the university and personal papers donated by individuals (e.g. faculty papers).

Access to private records may be restricted in accordance with stipulations in a deed of gift or a donation agreement (i.e. donor imposed restrictions); the privacy expectations articulated in provincial privacy law as it applies to the disclosure of records created by non-public organizations (i.e. Personal Information Protection Act); and the personal, ethical judgment of a professional archivist. Researchers requesting access to these records for research or statistical purposes must complete and sign a form, which includes a description of the project, the records requested, and the terms and conditions of access to and use of the records. The form becomes a legal agreement when it is signed by the researcher and approved and signed by the University Archivist.

For research agreements relating to access to university records, see RRSDA 1999-011, Freedom of Information Access Request Case Files.

Personal Information Bank (PIB)

This series is a Personal Information Bank; click here for PIB description.


These records are created, used, retained and managed in accordance with the following authorities:

Retention rationale

The agreements are needed to defend the university against legal claims which may arise from a researcher's violation of its terms (e.g. a published paper uses information in archival records to harm a third party's privacy rights and the latter sues the university). The discovery of such a violation is most likely to occur in the years immediately following the publication of a research product. A total retention period of "CY + 6 years" followed by full retention of the records by the Archives ensures their availability in the case of a dispute.

Retention and filing guidelines

Open an individual case file for each research agreement and related correspondence and documentation. Assign each research agreement a serial number based on the following convention: P [= private] - [year] - [next sequential number], e.g. P-2000-005 = the fifth research agreement of 2000 for private records.


RRSDA is in force.

Approved by the University Archivist: 18 May 2000

Last revised: 31 July. 2013

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