Reusing data

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Reusing data

In January 2004 the OECD brokered an international Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding. This recognised the significance of sharing and reusing data to further scientific research and innovation.

As a result there have been various initiatives in the UK to encourage and facilitate data sharing and many of the Research Councils now require data to be archived. 

A summary of requirements is available from the JULIET database.

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Principles on Data Policy:

The Research Councils UK Principles on Data Policy

The Research Councils UK have produced the following Common Principles on Data Policy:

  • publicly funded research data are 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.
  • institutional and project specific data management policies and plans should be in accordance with relevant standards and community best practice. Data with acknowledged long-term value should be preserved and remain accessible and usable for future research.
  • to enable research data to be discoverable and effectively reused by others, sufficient metadata should be recorded and made openly available to enable other researchers to understand the research and reuse potential of the data. Published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data.
  • RCUK recognises that there are legal, ethical and commercial constraints on release of research data. To ensure that the research process is not damaged by inappropriate release of data, research organisation policies and practices should ensure that these are considered at all stages in the research process.
  • to ensure that research teams get appropriate recognition for the effort involved in collecting and analysing data, those who undertake Research Council funded work may be entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data they have collected to enable them to publish the restuls of their research. The length of this period varies by research discipline and, where appropriate, is discussed further in the published policies of individual Research Councils. 
  • in order to recognise the intellectual contributions of researchers who generate, preserve and share key research datasets, all users of research data should acknowledge the sources of their data and abide by the terms and conditions under which they are accessed.
  • it is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly-funded research data. To maximise the research benefit which can be gained from limited budgets, the mechanisms for these activities should be both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds.   
 
 
 

What does this mean for data creators?

Research data should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner that does not harm intellectual property.

  • is the data sound and fit for release?
  • consider any ethical issues around releasing data
  • ensure that you have the right to release the data
  • use a creative commons license to clearly indicate how you expect your data to be used 
Institutional and project specific data management policies should be in accordance with relevant standards.

To enable research data to be discoverable and effectively reused by others, sufficient metadata should be recorded and made openly available.

  • create technical and descriptive metadata according to agreed standards. 
RCUK recognises that there are legal, ethical and commercial constraints on release of research data.

  • consider carefully any stipulations and implications with the research proposal
Those who undertake Research Council funded work may be entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data they have collected to enable them to publish the results of their research.

  • there may be an embargo period in order to allow time to assimilate, develop and publish the research hypothesis.
All users of research data should acknowledge the sources of their data.

  • data should be cited appropriately in order to give credit to the data creators. See Citing Data.
It is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly funded research data.

  • the University will provide advice and guidance on the use of repositories to manage and store research data.