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Sunday 21 July
My.Anglia > Rido > Research > Research Data Management

Research Data Management

Introducing Research Data Management

There is an increasing expectation that the data supporting research outputs is made publicly available, not only from funders of research but also from publishers of research such as journals. Doing so is seen to have a number of benefits:

  • encouraging scientific enquiry and debate and increase the visibility of research
  • encouraging innovation and the reuse of existing datasets in different ways, reducing costs by removing the need to collect duplicate research data
  • encouraging collaboration between data users and data creators
  • maximising transparency and accountability, and to enable the validation and verification of research findings and methods.

In addition, properly curated research data can be retained robustly and remain accessible over extended periods of time, for example ensuring that is is transferred from obsolete storage media (floppy disks, for example) or converted from file formats that are no longer supported.

While a number of research councils in the UK had operated their own data respositories for some time, and several required data management plans or the equivalent to be produced as part of grant applications, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) was the first to put the onus on individual institutions to take responsibility for data management. It required that of 1 May 2015 all EPSRC-funded research data had to be made publicly available, unless there is a valid reason why this is not possible (for example, commercial sensitivity). In any case, data sharing and data management is part of good research practice and should be planned from the beginning of the research cycle. It is the responsibility of individual researchers to be aware of the specific requirements of their own funder.

Most recently a multi-stakeholder group including Research Councils UK, Hefce, Universities UK and the Wellcome Trust have published the Concordat on Open Research Data. This is intended to ensure that the research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible, in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved.

Anglia Ruskin's Policy on Research Data Management

Anglia Ruskin approved its first Research Data Management policy on 11 January 2018. This applies to all ARU academic staff and postgraduate research students and is mandatory for all research data generated by projects to which external research data management obligations apply; it is strongly recommended for all other research projects. It sets out the presumption that where it is possible to do so, all research datasets created at Anglia Ruskin will be considered for preservation and dissemination, and most will be preserved and disseminated at the end of a project. It requires that research data management aspects of any project are, at minimum, considered; and that in most cases a Data Management Plan is created and maintained through the lifetime of a research project to ensure the effective management of research data arising. Expectations are set out about the preservation and storage of the dataset after the end of the project, and arrangements for the periodic review of stored datasets after a minimum of ten years post project, resulting either in agreeing for a period of further storage for the dataset, or its destruction. Click the link above to download the full policy.

Finding out more about Research Data Management

Watch a short YouTube video: Data Sharing and Management SNAFU in Three Short Acts

See what not to do in this THE story about poor research data management practice

Check out the University of Edinburgh's free online Mantra Research Data Management Training

Visit the RDM Rose website for more online training resources.

Follow Research Data Netherlands Essentials 4 Data Support introductory course for those people who support researchers in storing, managing, archiving and sharing their research data (in English!)

Investigate the Jisc Research Data Management Toolkit.

Review the Europen Foster Open Science training initiative for materials to help support open science more generally.

Make use of the Digital Curation Centre's DMPOnline planner to help you put together a data management plan and check out their archive of exemplar DMPs meeting different funder requirements.

Read the Research Data Management Policies of major UK research funders which can be found via a DCC landing page.

Use the Digital Curation Centre's Where to Keep Research Data? checklist to help identify which third-party external data repositories might be appropriate hosts of your research data. Or their Five Steps to Decide What Data to Keep to help appraise your research data.

Take the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives / European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CESSDA ERIC) Expert Tour Guide on Data Management. This is written for social science researchers who are in the early stages of practising research data management. CESSDA ERIC is a collaboration between eleven European social science data archives, including the UK Data Service.

Other useful documents

Ethical considerations in making research data publicly available (by Julie Scott, ARU Research Ethics & Governance Manager)

Presentation on Research Data Management (from the 7th Annual Research Student Conference, 2012).

The ARCC Network's checklist for authors can help researchers from EPSRC-funded projects to submit basic bibliographic data to six key locations.  Implementing these checklist items makes new publications eligible for the post-2014 REF and comply with the EPSRC policy framework on research data.

Other useful links

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is a world-leading centre of expertise in digital information curation and offers expert advice and practical help to higher education institutes which want to store, manage, protect and share digital research data.

The UK Data Archive is the UK's largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the service is structured to support researchers in academia, business, third sector and all levels of government. Based at the University of Essex, the UK Data Archive also hosts and manages the UK Data Service, aim is to provide users with seamless and flexible access to a wide range of data resources to facilitate high quality social and economic research and education. This includes a programme of research data management training workshops, many of which are free to attend.

The data service Dryad works closely with journal publishers in particular to provide a service to host research data associated with journal publications, including minting Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) which act as persistent links to the data. However, there is a fee for this service - at present Anglia Ruskin does not have an institutional agreement with Dryad.

Both Figshare and Zenodo offer a free service for the deposit of research data and issue DOIs, though there may be limitations on the size of files you can upload.

The Registry of Research Data Repositories ( can be used to find subject-specific repositories, which may also mint DOIs. Often this source may be able to tell you more about a repository than the repository itself, so it's a really useful tool, though not necessarily as intuitive as you might wish. The EU's OpenAIRE project offers advice on selecting a data repository.

The FORCE11 community has developed the FAIR data principles - that research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Read more about them in Mark Wilkinson et al.'s open access article in Nature Scientific Reports, "The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship" (2016)

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) is hosting the EU-funded LEARN project to deliver a model RDM policy, a toolkit to support implementation, and briefings in five core languages.

The International Council for Science (ICSU), with its collaborators at the 2015 Science International, has developed an accord, Open Data in a Big Data World, which is essentially a form of concordat on research data proposing a set of common principles to underpin sharing research data, focussing in particular on issues enabling the sharing of data with African researchers.

The Hague Declaration aims to foster agreement about how to best enable access to facts, data and ideas for knowledge discovery in the Digital Age.

Arkivum - a commercial provider of data archiving services - have produced an e-book setting out "13 steps to help you meet institutional and EPSRC expectations on maximising access to your research data"

The organisation Digital Scholarship provides information and commentary about digital copyright, digital curation, digital repository, open access, research data management, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues. Most recently they have published the sixth edition of the Research Data Curation Bibliography, including over 560 selected English-language articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions.

The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives / European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CESSDA ERIC) offers a variety of training and support for research data management.

Charles W. Bailey has compiled the Research Data Curation Bibliography, including over 750 selected English-language articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding the curation of digital research data in academic and other research institutions.