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Research Data Management: Policy Requirements

Which Polices Do You Need to Know About

There are three data sharing policies that you need to know about

1. Funder Polices - Many funders now have data sharing requirement. For instance, for the RCUK data sharing is mandatory. Policies also exist for EU funded research and the Wellcome Trust. It is however best to check with your funders. See individual policies below:

2. Aston University Research Data Policy - Aston has its own research data policy which applies to all research data produced whether funded or unfunded. In most cases, Aston policy will complement funder policies so if you meet one you meet the other. Aston policy is recommended for good research practice. Please see the attached below:

3. Journal Policies - An increasing number of journal are requiring the underlying data forming part of a publication to be shared. Please see the following links for further information: Elsevier, Royal Society, Springer Nature, Wiley, PLOS

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What To Share

1. Data which underpins your publications  e.g raw data, processed data, data behind figures. This needs to be in a non-proprietary format or a commonly used format (Excel) together with being well annotated.

2. Unpublished data (some funders) which has potential long term value e.g data produced during high volume experimentation, low throughput data produced over a long time. This data can be embargoed if needs be

3. Physical data - which forms a part of points 1 or 2 above. Physical documents/artefacts/specimens which are stored in your office/laboratory.

When To Share

All publications require a Data Access Statement (RCUK & Aston Policy) which needs a permanent identifier called a DOI (Digital Object Identifier). This Data Access Statement is required to be in your publication prior to submission. For this reason, the metadata describing your data needs to be uploaded into Aston Data Explorer prior to submission. The data itself can be uploaded onto Aston Data Explorer anytime prior to online publication.

Some funders also require data which you do not intend to use as a part of a publication to be shared. For the EPSRC, the metadata should as a minimum  be available at a maximum of 12 months following data creation or 12 months following the end of the research grant.

Special considerations

Commericalisation - If data is potentially to be commercialised and/or have a patent application is made, the researcher must contact the RKE in the first instance. If following a successful patent application, a researcher would like to share their data and/or publish their research, they would need to contact the RKE in the first instance to see whether this would in any way be detrimental.

3rd Party Data - For 3rd party data which was used in your research, a metadata link to the dataset can be uploaded onto Aston Data Explorer. Likewise, a metadata only link can be made to your research data stored in an external repository, whether or not it was created whilst working at Aston. If you wish to upload the actual data, permission must be sought from the owner of the data.


How To Share

Data can be deposited in Aston Data Explorer and stored for a period of 10 years from last access. You can log into Aston Data Explorer using your university login credentials. See the below attachment for a tutorial. Alternatively, data can be stored in another open access repository. See Storage and Archiving for examples of repositories.


Licence Type

A license type must be selected which determines how your data can be reused following sharing. This is undertaken on Aston Data Explorer. To maximise the impact of your research, it is advised that one of the more liberal licenses is selected. If needs be, more restrictive licenses can be applied to more sensitive data.


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