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Research Funders' Data Policies

Many funders of research have policies requiring researchers in receipt of grant funding to manage the data they collect and use in their research, and to plan for the preservation and sharing of key data beyond the lifetime of the research project.


Research Funders' Policies

The Digital Curation Centre provides summaries of the policies of the following major funders of research, with links to relevant pages on the funders' websites:

University Data Management Plan guidance is available for applicants to AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, the European Commission (Horizon 2020) and NERC. See the Data Management Planning web page (Grant applications section).


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Expectations

The EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data places a responsibility on both researchers and research organisations for the management, preservation and sharing of research data. The policy sets out nine expectations, with which universities in receipt of EPSRC funding are required to be fully compliant.

The expectations affect all EPSRC-funded research staff and students.

As a researcher funded by EPSRC, if you collect or generate research data in the course of your research, and these data directly support published research findings, you are required to:

  • preserve the data (digital and non-digital) in an accessible location for a minimum of 10 years;
  • publish an online metadata record describing the data, and register the data with the University within 12 months of the data being generated;
  • include a statement in research publications indicating where the data are and how they can be accessed.

You can comply with these requirements by depositing your primary data in our institutional data repository, the University of Reading Research Data Archive.

Further information about the EPSRC policy and how to comply with its expectations is provided in the leaflet Essential information for EPSRC researchers (PDF).

Details of University progress towards meeting these expectations can be found in the EPSRC Update (PDF). 


UKRI Common Principles on Data Policy

The UKRI Common Principles on Data Policy articulate a general framework for research data policies that is subscribed to by all the Research Councils, as well as by many other public funders of research. The keystone of this framework is the first principle:

Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property.

From this follow the other principles, which can be summarised in the following terms:

  • Data with acknowledged long-term value should be preserved and remain accessible and usable for future research;
  • Published results should include information on how to access the supporting data;
  • Not all data can or should be shared. There are legal, ethical and commercial constraints on release of research data;
  • Researchers are entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data they have collected, to enable them to publish the results of their research;
  • Re-use of existing data should acknowledge the source of the data to ensure proper attribution of credit and should abide by any terms of use that apply to the data;
  • The management and sharing of data is integral to research activity and it is appropriate to use public funds for these purposes.

Many other public funders in the UK and worldwide subscribe to these or similar broad principles, and many will provide funding in support of data management and sharing activities.


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