Research data is increasingly viewed as a primary research output and the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and other funders acknowledge that research data is a valuable asset, especially its potential for re-use.
The RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy regards publicly funded research data as:
...a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property
The University of Nottingham Research Data Management Policy states that the responsibility for the research data management plan lies primarily with the Principal Investigators. Hence there are a number of expectations that must be met.
In order to foster good practice, Research Councils UK have developed a statement of common principles on data policy:
Publicly funded data produced in the public interest should be made openly available.
Planning for preservation
Institutional and project specific data management policies and plans need to ensure valued data remains accessible and usable for future research.
Metadata should be available and discoverable and clear indications of how to access supporting data must accompany published results.
Research organisation policies and practices to ensure legal, ethical and commercial constraints assessed.
Provision for a period of exclusive use of the data, to enable research teams to publish results.
Data users should acknowledge data sources and terms & conditions of access.
Public funding research benefit
Investment is appropriate and must be efficient and cost-effective.
Funders' data policies
- funding bodies increasingly require research data management plans. These outline what data will be created, how it is created, sharing and preservation issues, and possible restrictions.
- the SHERPA-JULIET service provides a listing of 105 Research funders' open access and research data archiving policies.
The Digital Curation Centre and funder policies
- data management plans are required for several key European and international funding organisations. The European Commission will require a plan for projects funded in the 8th Framework programme – Horizon 2020 , which starts in 2014. In the United States, the National Science Foundation has mandated data management plans as a condition for funding.