1. Depositing your research data
1. Where can I deposit my research data?
- The University of Southampton offers data deposit for small (KB/MB) to medium(4GB) datasets (per file) in PURE using a separate data deposit workflow. Larger data can also be deposited but please contact our research support team ResearchData@soton.ac.uk to discuss your requirements.
Subject to certain criteria the Institutional Repository is able to provide a Data Cite DOI (see DOI for Data), for example, data that underpins figures and/or tables in a publication.
For further advice, please contact ResearchData@soton.ac.uk.
Before depositing in PURE
2. If I have to deposit in a discipline data repository do I also need to deposit with the University?
- No, subject to the data repository actively preserving the material you should not need to keep copies in both.
- The University research data management policy 4.1.4 requires that there is a record of where the data has been deposited and this should be in the form of a record in PURE.
3. What help is available to assist with decisions about the "significance" of research data?
- Research data management/sharing policies of relevant funders may have discipline specific definitions of research data and associated guidance. Developing a data management/sharing plan with academic and professional services colleagues can help investigate the issues at the start of a project. If you are part way through a project you may still find a relevant funder or institutional checklist for research data management planning useful.
- Data that support publications and other project outcomes.
- Data that cannot be reproduced as they record unique events, such as a riot, climate monitoring, earthquake or could not be reproduced easily in a cost effective way.
4. Does the University research data management policy only apply to funded research?
- No, the University policy applies to all research data that is in the scope of the policy whether or not it is directly funded by a specific Funding Council or Charity. This includes postgraduate students and the data contained in their thesis. Although not directly funded you may still find useful the guidance from funders relevant to your discipline.
5. Does the University research data management policy only apply to electronic or computer- readable data?
- No, the University policy also applies to paper-based data. Please check for any Faculty or discipline procedures.
6. What happens if my funder only wants me to keep the data for 3-5 years, but the University policy says 10 years?
- If the data has been identified as significant then the University policy would take precedence.
7. Does my data have to be made openly available?
- The Research Councils UK have agreed a Common Principles on Data Policy and this states that "research data are a public good ...which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property".
While you are encouraged to make data openly available where possible, there are legitimate reasons when it may be best to embargo data both in the short and longer term. Before making your data openly available it is important that you check that there are no ethical, legal, commercial or other reasons why you should not do so.
Where data supports a publication there should be a data access statement in the article that includes details of the availability or restrictions on accessing the data.
For further advice see also restricting access to research data or contact us at ResearchData@soton.ac.uk.
8. In PURE do I deposit my data on the same record as my publication?
- No you should deposit your data using the separate 'Dataset' module. The publication should be added using the 'Research Output' module.
The data is kept separate so that a DOI can be applied to the data. This enables the data to become more visible and hopefully will result in increasing the impact of the research. It is likely that the publication will have its own identifier, this might be a DOI if it is a journal or an ISBN if it is a book.
2. Research Data Management Plans
1. Have you got any draft text about institutional support for research data management that I can put in my bid?
2. How do I find out if I need to submit a data management plan with a project proposal?
- Check the funder's application information and website. Most funders provide support in some form or another. Not everyone asks for a management plan, some funders look for a sharing plan or a technical summary and plan.
- If you are submitting a proposal to a UK Research Council you may want to check the Je-S (Joint Electronic Submissions) Handbook. You will need to register for access to this if you haven't already done so at https://je- s.rcuk.ac.uk/JeS2WebLoginSite/Login.aspx.
- For further guidance see the section Data Management Planning Guidance from Funders.
3. Do I need a data management plan if my funder hasn't asked for one?
- A data management plan (DMP) is a useful tool to help plan for your data creation, its management, storage, dissemination and preservation. Whilst not compulsory it is recommended. Take a look at our Data Management Planning page or our Top 10 Checklist for advice on the areas that you might want to cover.
3. Sharing your research data
1. Do I need to share my research data?
- The Research Councils UK has agreed a Common Principles on Data Policy and this states that "research data are a public good ...which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property".
You are encouraged to share your data as openly as possible, subject to your discipline and the nature of your data. Where your data are "significant" (see University Policy) you should aim to make at least the metadata about your data available and discoverable. Any restrictions on availability or access should be listed in the metadata and included in any data access statement in any related publications. Guidance on data access statements is available from http://library.soton.ac.uk/researchdata/funderguidance
Not all data are suitable for sharing or classed as "significant". If by providing detailed metadata your output data can be easily reproduced then the important document is the metadata record containing this information.
When you deposit you can:
- Add a licence to your data to govern its re-use.
- Have a period of protected time to make use of the data for further research or exploitation, but individual funders may have expectations on how long this should be.
Note: This would not apply to confidential, sensitive or personal data where they data may need an permanent embargo set. See our guide about restricting access to research data for further guidance.
- Have a request form where your data are large or have restrictions on who can have access.
2. I have code rather than data - do I need to share this?
- Data comes in many forms and code is one of these. There are specialist places where code can be stored, for example, GitHub. You are recommended to use the most appropriate place to share such information. If you cannot find a suitable repository then consider adding a data file to PURE.
Note: Before depositing code openly check that there are no legal, intellectual property or other reasons that might make this inappropriate. See restricting access to research data
3. How can I promote the availability of my data?
- Deposit your data and/or metadata record in a repository as this should increase the discoverability of the data, linked documents and increase both your own and your research impact.
- Request a DOI - Citing the data can be done more easily if the repository selected provides a URI or DOI. The Institutional Repository is able to provide both of these options. Further information on DOIs for data is available from http://library.soton.ac.uk/identifiers/data
- Data Access Statement - When you write an article based on your data you should include a data access or data availability statement. This should accompany your funder and grant details acknowledgement. The statement should say where your data are available from and under what conditions, if any. This is a requirement for UK Research Councils and fulfils an EPSRC expectation coming into effect on 1st May 2015.
4. Are there any examples on what I should include in my acknowledgement/data availability statement?
What to include
- Yes we have some examples in our funder guidance page.
- When you write a publication based on your data you include a data access or data availability statement stating where your data are available from and what conditions apply. This statement is required for all publications arising from publicly-funded research and fulfil the funders' data policies. Some funders, such as EPSRC, have indicated that they will be checking for inclusion of appropriate statements in publication online after 1st May 2015.
1. Do you provide any training in data management?
- The library organises a basic course "Introduction to Research Data Management" via Gradbook and is open to Post Graduate Researchers. Each session has a case study either in qualitative or quantitative areas.
- Talks and training sessions can be arranged within Faculties and disciplines on request via ResearchData@soton.ac.uk
- Staffbook courses on meeting EPSRC expectations will be available shortly. Other courses can be arranged on request.