Steps that HEIs can take to meet the EPSRC research data policy

Mars 2015

Publié le 3 avril 2015, par Thérèse Hameau

This guide suggests approaches to research data management (RDM) that will enable universities to meet the requirements of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC’s) research data policy. We have included an overview of the EPSRC’s policy expectations, outlined particular implementation challenges and we offer some examples of how these have been addressed successfully. There are signposts to further resources and tools. This guide will be of interest to university senior managers and research data management support staff, including those who are responsible for giving advice to researchers on the storage, management, publication and archiving of research data.

The significance of the EPSRC research data policy

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has agreed seven common principles on data policy
based on the common theme of access and reuse of research data and these principles underpin individual research councils’ policies, although the policies vary in their terms or specific requirements.

The EPSRC’s policy includes nine specific expectations concerning RDM ; they assign primary responsibility for promotion of research data management to the research organisation and require it to provide systems, tools and support services to enable this. While the policy’s focus is on management of EPSRC-funded research data, it has had the wider effect of stimulating universities to think about RDM and the research data lifecycle in a way that goes beyond the requirements of a specific funder. This has inevitably thrown up a number of challenges for research organisations, especially with regard to resources : many are concerned about how they can plan for these and sustain them in the long term.

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RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy

In 2011, RCUK issued a set of Common Principles on Research Data Policy. These push for data to be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner. Most research funders have issued data policies, however the extent and coverage of these varies greatly. In some cases researchers are also directed to good practice guides, which provide recommendations on documenting and maintaining research.


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