Sharing data

“The University’s data management policy reflects a commitment to the preservation, management and sharing of research data. We believe this is a key component of good research practice, and that it contributes to a culture of research excellence.”

Research data are a valuable resource. It is University policy that all research data, including that from doctoral research, should be kept for a minimum of 10 years after completion of the project. This covers both physical and digital data. For research funded by the Medical Research Council this may be considerably longer.

These data are required to substantiate any research findings that are published or reported, so that your peers may be able to validate the findings. Sharing research outcomes also enables future researchers to open up new lines of inquiry or develop new insights based on your data, without the duplication of effort that would be needed to collect the data again, if re-collecting the same data would be feasible or possible in the first place. Increasingly, research funders encourage the sharing of data.

Thus when you get to the end of your research project, there are several things you will need to do:

  • select the research data you will want or need to keep and destroy the rest
  • preserve the research data by depositing them in an institutional repository or a data archive
  • publish those data in the repository or archive and share them with others, with access restrictions if appropriate