Remove project from the record

The following provides information about what to do when your research project has been completed.


When you have completed your research project, you must find out whether it is still necessary to store personal data in accordance with the rules regarding responsible conduct of research or according to the rules in the special legislation. 

If the answer is yes

If you need to continue storing personal data in accordance with the rules on responsible conduct of research or pursuant to rules in the special legislation, you will still be processing personal data. Therefore, you must continue to comply with appropriate security measures, and your project must still be registered in the AU record.

If the answer is no

If you do not need to continue storing personal data in accordance with the rules on responsible conduct of research or pursuant to rules in the special legislation, you will need to decide on what to do with data. You have four options:

Remove your project from the record

You must then remove your research project from the record. To do this, send an email to fortegnelse@au.dk with the following information:

  • The serial number(s) you received in the confirmation letter from the Data Protection Unit.
  • Information about which of the four options you have chosen.

How to anonymise persondal data

In order for personal data to be considered anonymous, it must not be possible to identify individual persons on the basis of the data alone or in combination with other information. 

In other words, you have to factor in that other people may have access to information which, together with the anonymous data, makes it possible to return to the original person identification in full or in part. Anonymisation must be irrevocable. 

Personal data that has been adequately anonymised is not covered by the GDPR, and thus does not impose any legal requirements for the system where it has been saved. There is no longer a need for a documented time limit for when and how data is to be deleted. It would be a good idea to anonymise data if, for example, open-access is required for research data.

These four points must, as a minimum, be met in order for Aarhus University to consider the data as anonymised: 

  • Remove all external/unique identifiers - including numbers as well. 
  • Dates and times must either:
  • Be removed
  • Replaced by calculated time periods, e.g. 'admission 16/6 2019 - readmission 27/8 2019' can be changed to 'readmission: 73 days’
  • ‘Blurred’ by moving dates and times in parallel by a random number of days (e.g. +/-10 days) at individual level, e.g. 'admission 16/6 2019 ' can be changed to 'admission 11/6 2019' and 'readmission 27/8 2019' can be changed to 'readmission 22/8 2019'
  • Remove all text fields - replace with categories, for example. 
  • Reduce to the absolute fewest possible data fields/variables. 

Note that adequate anonymisation will usually be impossible in connection with qualitative data.  

There are different interpretations of when personal data is anonymous, and there is no absolute distinction, but rather a case-by-case assessment of risk and reasonableness.

How to report research data to the Danish National Archives