DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS SCHEDULE

INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT RECORDS

08-25-03

Scope

This schedule encompasses research and development (R&D) records generated within the Department of Energy (DOE) complex which consists of all DOE offices and its contractor organizations, such as national laboratories. It applies to all applicable records regardless of format. Excluded from this schedule are R&D records pertaining to:

a) nuclear weapons, which are covered by DOE Schedule 3, Nuclear Weapons Schedule, and
b) Work for Others, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA), and cost sharing agreements which are covered by DOE Schedule NI-434-95-5.

R&D records consist of information generated by scientific and technical activities and collaborations that result in new or modified concepts, techniques, equipment, and materials. Scientific and technical activities may include:

a) administering technical projects
b) establishing research priorities
c) developing theories and models
d) planning and designing experiments
e) conducting experiments
f) compiling, reviewing, and disseminating
technical reports, presentations and published articles.

R&D records accumulate at various organizational levels:

a)divisions establish program direction
b) research groups generate projects, and
c) facilities conduct testing and experimentation.

Through an evaluation of the record series, organizations can accurately assess the lasting scientific and research value of these records. The record series may document:

a) program direction, review, appraisal or analysis
b) the research activity's overall organization,
functions, procedures and operations, and
c) the research activity's results and conclusions which may have value for future researchers.

Review Philosophy and Guidelines

This schedule provides tools and guidelines to successfully complete the review of R&D records and to establish levels for disposition. The records in this schedule shall be reviewed at project closure or file cutoff to determine the appropriate disposition.

Each site should establish a review team composed of members who understand the records under evaluation and/or the records management function of the organization. The team might include the agency's Records Manager, Archivist, or Historian, the principal investigator(s), project researchers, current records holders, and subject matter experts. An R&D Checklist should be the starting point for the team's evaluation (see Figure 1.0 Research & Development Evaluation Checklist). Ideally, the evaluation process would begin with an assessment of records written by the principal investigator(s) during or shortly after the close of a project. This provides a basis for the review team to use in their subsequent evaluation of the project.

All R&D records must be evaluated and assigned into one of the following three levels, unless otherwise indicated in the schedule. Records retired under this schedule will not be accepted by a Federal Records Center without an appropriate level designation.

Level I : Projects which received national or international awards of distinction; active participation of nationally or internationally prominent investigators; research which resulted in a significant improvement in public health, safety, or other vital national interests; scientific endeavors which were the subject of widespread national or international media attention and/or extensive congressional, DOE or other government agency investigation; show the development of new and nationally or internationally significant techniques which are critical for future scientific endeavors or made a significant impact on the development of national or international scientific political, economic, or social priorities.

Level I Disposition Instructions : Permanent. Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation, or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to Federal Records Center (FRC) 2 years after termination of project/program. Transfer to National Archives and Records Administration 30 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

Level II : Research that leads to the development of a "first of its kind" process or product; improved an existing process, product, or application, or has implications for future research.

Level II Disposition Instructions : Cutoff files after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 25 years after termination of the project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

Level III: Research projects/programs that do not fall into Level I or II.

Level III Disposition Instructions : Cutoff files after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 10 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

FIGURE 1.0 Research & Development Evaluation Checklist

The following list is intended for guidance purposes only. Individual sites are encouraged to develop an evaluation form for R&D records consisting of these elements or appropriate variations.

  1. Full name of office or unit creating the records.
  2. Official name of the project, project number or sub-project identifier, and summarized statement of work.
  3. Summary of the project and its significance, including significant milestones (start, finish . . .).
  4. Name(s) of principal researcher(s).
  5. Names of team members.
  6. Location of principal researcher(s) and team members.
  7. Funding and/or oversight DOE program.
  8. Research methodology, procedures, and techniques unique to project.
  9. Has a patent been filed?
  10. Are the records the subject of pending litigation? (Note: No document should be destroyed if it is related to a complaint or a claim which has been filed or is likely to be filed even if the retention has been reached or exceeded. Approved dispositions may be applied after resolution of the litigation and any subsequent appeals.)
  11. Types of records (e.g., reports, correspondence, drawings.). Identify any access restrictions.
  12. Medium of records (e.g., paper, diskette, microfilm . . .).
  13. Location of records.
  14. Evaluation of records for future research and historical use.
  15. Suggested retention.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT RECORDS

This schedule covers R&D records and reports for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) complex. Records covered by this schedule are grouped into the following categories:

1. Research & Development Project Records

2. Research & Development Program Management Records

3. Medical Research Records

1. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PROJECT RECORDS

R&D project records may be maintained as: a) a project case file or b) individual record series. The project case file approach provides a complete record of an R&D project from start to finish, allowing the reconstruction of relevant procedures and analyses. The second method for organizing and maintaining R&D project records is by individual record series.

The criteria for scheduling records into one of the following three levels, unless otherwise indicated in the schedule, is as follows:

Level I: Projects which received national or international awards of distinction; active participation of nationally or internationally prominent investigators; research which resulted in a significant improvement in public health, safety, or other vital national interests; scientific endeavors which were the subject of widespread national or international media attention and/or extensive Congressional, DOE or other government agency investigation; show the development of new and nationally or internationally significant techniques which are critical for future scientific endeavors; or made a significant impact on the development of national or international scientific, political, economic, or social priorities.

Level I Disposition Instructions : Permanent. Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation, or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Transfer to NARA 30 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

Level II: Research that leads to the development of a "first of its kind" process or product; improved an existing process, product, or application, or has implications for future research.

Level II Disposition Instructions : Cutoff files after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 25 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

Level III: Research projects/programs that do not fall into Level I or II.

Level III Disposition Instructions : Cutoff files after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 10 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9)

A. R&D Project Case Files: A project case file includes all records related to the project and may include but are not limited to the records itemized in B. R&D Record Series.

1. Level I (see criteria above). Permanent. Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation, or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Transfer to NARA 30 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1A1)

2. Level II (see criteria above). Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 25 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1A2)

3. Level III (see criteria above). Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 10 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1A3)

B. R&D Record Series.

1. Administrative records that include correspondence relating to project justification, staffing, initiation or execution; project management plans, records management plans; and periodic status reports.

(a) Level I (see criteria above). Permanent. Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation, or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Transfer to NARA 30 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1B1a)

(b) Level II (see criteria above). Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 25 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1B1b)

(c) Level III (see criteria above). Cutoff after project/program completion, cancellation or termination, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after termination of project/program. Destroy 10 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.1B1c)

2. Financial documents which include: budgets, cost runs, work breakdown structure and travel expenditures.

Cutoff files annually. Destroy 10 years after cut off. (N1-434-96-9.1B2)

3. Contractual and procurement documents which include: funded proposals, sponsor contracts, subcontracts, contract specifications, statements of work, letters of instruction, related service agreements and accompanying instructions and technical procedures and study protocols; procurement specifications and purchase orders and any subsequent revisions.

Cutoff files annually. Destroy 10 years after cut off. (N1-434-96-9.1B3)

4. Quality assurance documents include, but are not limited to: quality assurance plans, and related reports of QA audits, project assessments, nonconformance and corrective action reports, deficiency reports, and certificates of conformance.

5. Reports of inventions, disclosures/patents and copyrights.

Refer to DOE Records Schedule 7. (N1-434-96-9.1B5)

6. Design documentation including experimental set up, schematics, flow charts and logs, test controls and instructions, test records and certifications, measuring and test equipment control listings, and calibration records.

7. Basic data sheets and data logs.

Destroy when 5 years old unless specifically designated as deliverables in contractual or procurement documents. If designated as such, apply Level III criteria and disposition instructions. (N1-434-96-9.1B7)

8. Computer code documentation and software/hardware requirements, including benchmark test/data results. File specifications, record layouts relating to a master file or database authorized for disposal.

Destroy when superceded or obsolete or upon authorized deletion of the related master file or database, or upon the destruction of the output of the system, if the output is not needed to protect legal rights. (N1-434-96-9.1B8)

9. Technical documents which include: technical papers, significant technical correspondence, engineering plans and drawings, final reports, photographs and negatives related to the project; test schedules, specifications, final approved standards, final research data, statistical analyses, tables, charts, graphs, computer printouts or analyses of scientific or engineering data, and other accumulated records documenting the progress and completion of R&D projects.

10. Supporting technical information which includes: preliminary reports, notes and working papers, computer printouts, draft copies of papers used by technical writers and any other preliminary or draft copies.

Destroy when 5 years old unless specifically designated as deliverables in contractual or procurement documents. If designated, apply Level III criteria and disposition instructions. (N1-434-96-9.1B10)

11. Preliminary sketches, drawings, specifications, and photographs.

Destroy when 5 years old unless specifically designated as deliverables in contractual or procurement documents. If designated, apply Level III criteria and disposition instructions. (N1-434-96-9.1B11)

12. Raw data in various media (punch cards, computer printouts, magnetic tapes, videotapes, photographs, or comparable media) used to collect and assemble data of a preliminary or intermediate character generated from such processes as experiments or observations used for reference in arriving at determinations in the conduct of research projects or determined to have probable value for secondary evaluations or future experiments.

Destroy when 5 years old (or earlier if authorized by appropriate site review) unless the records are specifically designated as deliverables in contractual or procurement documents. If designated, apply Level III criteria and disposition instructions. (N1-434-96-9.1B12)

13. Evaluated or summarized data resulting from study of raw data including memoranda, graphs, tabulations, reports, log books, and related papers

14. Controlled notebooks issued to researchers specifically to document research results. These notebooks contain technical and scientific data accumulated from the conduct of research and development and are often not duplicated in technical reports or project case files. These notebooks frequently contain data essential in establishing patent or invention rights.

15. Technical Progress Reports submitted by laboratories or other project offices to show the initiation and degree of completion of projects, and consolidated reports prepared therefrom.

2. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM MANAGEMENT RECORDS

R&D Program Management records document the basis for research and development program management decisions, direction, policies and responsibilities, and the planning and status of research projects within a program. A program is an organized group of projects that may be related by a single to theme. Projects making up a program may involve different technology disciplines and maybe conducted by several organizations. Program records identified in this section may also include technical committee and board records.

A. R&D Program Planning Records . Records of boards and committees studying assigned technical research and development problems, including requirements for or the authorization of projects, the scheduling and phasing of projects or programs, and the control and coordination of various R&D project phases or programs. Records consist of agendas, directives, minutes of meetings, papers relating to the establishment, revision, or termination of projects, and other papers reflecting the boards or committees' actions, recommendations and accomplishments.

3. MEDICAL RESEARCH RECORDS

Records of ongoing clinical research programs and clinically-based experimental treatment programs. Includes research activities that involve human subjects conducted in accordance with 10 CFR Part 745 - Protection of Human Subjects.

A. Patient Case Files. Records of patients treated by physicians as a part of ongoing clinical- research programs and clinically-based experimental treatment programs. Each medical case file includes the complete medical history and record of treatment for individual patients.

Cutoff files at termination of medical research program. Retire to FRC when appropriate. Destroy 75 years after cutoff. (N1-434-96-9.3A)

The medical documentation component of the individual case files may include, but is not limited to, the following types of records: referral correspondence, initial clinical data, correspondence with collaborating medical institutions, treatment plans and data, patient treatment notes and procedure notes documenting the course of the diagnostic and treatment procedures.

Administrative documentation in the case file may include, but is not limited to, the following types of records: patient data sheets and insurance records, release copies for any medical record information requests, consent forms and permission to treat, and billing documentation.

The imaging records in the file may include, but are not limited to, the following types of records: diagnostic (pre-treatment) and follow-up (post-treatment) images and may include x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and position emission tomography studies.

B. Medical Research Case Files. These records document the history of research projects on human subjects from initiation to completion, and include records relating to the prospective evaluation of the safety and efficiency of proposed diagnostic, therapeutic, or preventative treatments as well as research, development, design and test results. The records may include but are not limited to the following: project proposal, review memoranda and comments, project authorizations and directives, approved protocols, documentation of assurance, unpublished manuscripts, journal articles and conference papers, progress reports, correspondence, lists of publications resulting from the project, test treatment data, daily calibration data, equipment operation logs, operation and safety procedures, and Institutional Review Board records.

Permanent. Cutoff after completion or termination of program, or in 5 year blocks. Retire to FRC 2 years after cutoff. Transfer to NARA 30 years after termination of project/program. (N1-434-96-9.3B)

C. Medical Equipment Data Records . Records include, but are not limited to, equipment and instrument calibration; experimental set-up of equipment; daily calibration data; equipment operation logs; equipment service, maintenance and repair records; operations and safety procedures, that are not appropriate for inclusion in the medical project case file.

[Cutoff files annually. Destroy 15 years after cutoff. (N1-434-96-9.3C)] NOTE: EPI FREEZE IN FORCE: DISPOSITION OF THESE RECORDS IS NOT AUTHORIZED AT THIS TIME.]

Updated: November 18, 2005 J.M. Deken

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