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Research Data Management: Policies

Guidance and support to staff, researchers and students at the University of Southampton

Requesting a DOI

We can register a DOI for your dataset through DataCite - this gives a persistent link and can make it easier to cite.

For more details see our DOI for data page.


Depositing Data to Support Publication

Note:  There are additional steps for depositing data at the end of a project.  Please contact for further guidance.

Meeting Funder Requirements

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) 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".  Although each Council has developed their own specific policies and requirements to take account of the disciplines involved, there is an expectation that Researchers will:

  • Plan for their data collection, often through the submission of a initial data management plan with their proposal.
  • Manage their data throughout the project, keeping the necessary metadata and documentation, and establishing good data handling procedures.
  • Deposit their research data in a suitable repository and where possible make at least the record and metadata discoverable.
  • Share the data at the appropriate time, subject to restrictions required relating to confidential, commercial, sensitive or personal data.
  • Write a Data Access statement: Publications should include a statement on the availability or restrictions to access for the data (data access statement) as well as the acknowledgement of funding and grant details.

Funder Retention Requirements

Funders may also require some or all data to be held.  While they may not have prescribed retention periods, all UK funding councils have a ‘sharing’ policy, as do other significant funders, such as Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust.  This implies the need for data to be held in a safe and an accessible way. The Digital Curation Centre has a helpful overview of funders’ data policies



Data Availability





University of Southampton In line with funders sharing policy Min. rolling 10 years from date of last access Institutional (ePrints Soton) or subject-based

applies to signficant data; data catalogue record entry - ePrints Soton

AHRC Within 3 months of end of project Min. 3 years from end of project; ADS longer

Archaeology Data Service*, Institutional or subject-based

*Contact ADS within 3 months of start of proposed research

BBSRC Timely; no later than publication of main findings; best practice 10 years from end of project    
Cancer Research UK Timely; no later than acceptance for publication of the main findings Curated throughout its life-cycle for a min. of 5 years after end of project   Limited period of exclusive use for primary research
EPSRC Metadata available within 12 months of generation; data - timely 10 years from the date of last access    
ESRC Within 3 months of end of project  

UK Data Archive;

UK Data Service

Limited defined period of exclusive use for primary research team

The ESRC UK Data Service are responsible for ensuring long-term access to the data

MRC Timely 10 years from generation (in original form)    
NERC As soon as possible after the end of data collection   NERC Data Centre, where available and data appropriate

Embargo allowed; normally max. 2 years

Criteria to identify data sets with long-term value found in NERC's Data Value Checklist

STFC Within 6 months of relevant publication

Min. 10 years after end of project for data that can be reproduced;

"In perpetuity" for data that cannot be re-measured or reproduced.


Data should be made publically available after a limited period, unless there are specific reasons why this should not happen

Wellcome Trust Timely; linked to publication Min. 10 years    

Concordat on Open Research

HEFCE, RCUK, Wellcome Trust, Universities UK

In 2016 HEFCE, RCUK, Wellcome and Universities UK launched their Concordat on Open Research Data [pdf].