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Record-Keeping Requirements for Researchers

Federal regulations require the IACUC office to keep records of live animal use for 3 years after the completion of the research/training activities. Our office considers the 3-year period of a protocol (commonly referred to as a "cycle") as the definition of an "activity" - This means that protocol records in our office will be destroyed after 3 years a protocol cycle closes or expires. For this reason, it is important that investigators keep internal records of their protocols!


Principal Investigators and/or laboratory staff responsible for maintaining IACUC protocols should keep good internal records!

The following guidelines are provided to assist investigators and research staff with recordkeeping of approved IACUC protocols and animal use during each three-year approval period and throughout the entire study (which may be ongoing for more than 3 years). Recommendations include:

  • Save (or print) a PDF version of your protocol from RMS for each and every approval - This includes when a cycle (3-year period) is first approved, along with any subsequent modifications approved after initial approval.
  • For electronic records, include the approval date in the filename of the document (e.g., "Mod approved 3-1-2017")
  • Organize protocol documents in electronic folders on your computer (sorted by cycle, year, etc.)
  • Data collection or personnel training records can be maintained on paper or electronically on a computer (e.g., Excel workbooks, lab notebooks, binders, etc.)

NOTE:  The Office of Research Administration is the office of record for the UCI Animal Care and Use Program.  If you receive a request from someone outside your laboratory or the University for a copy of your research protocol or other records pertaining to the use of live animals in your research, refer the requestor to either the IACUC Administrative Office or the UCI Public Records Office.  All such documents will be carefully redacted prior to release.

See also Training Requirements and Surgery Policy for other record-keeping requirements.

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