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Library Research Support: Open Research: Funder requirements

This guide is intended to provide advice and support on open access research, including guidance around Durham Research Online (DRO), open access publishing, research data management and related topics.

Overview

The Digital Curation Centre in Edinburgh have created useful guidance on funder requirements.  Look up your funder in the table to get an overview of what is expected.  If your funder is not listed in the table then you should ask your funder for any conditions they attach to their grants.  Some funders may require you to submit a Data Management Plan.  Others may require you to publish your (anonymised) supporting research data in a data repository.

Writing a Data Management Plan

AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Cancer Research UK, European Commission and Wellcome Trust all require a detailed Data Management Plan (DMP) to be submitted with your grant application.  The University provides some guidance on writing a good DMP.  The University also runs an interactive workshop every academic term on Writing a good data management plan.  The next workshop will be held on 19 June 2024.  Please contact DCAD or the Library for further details.

If your research project is going through the University's ethical review process, you will be asked about your DMP.  In this case, a DMP is hightly recommended but not required.  Your DMP should describe, in detail, all the research data you are planning to create or collect.  Your DMP should describe your research methods, including how you will keep personal data safe.  Where will you store personal data?  When will you destroy research data containing personal or sensitive information?  Your DMP should state how you will organise your research data (e.g., database or spreadsheet or other commercial software).  If you can anonymise your supporting research data, in which data repository will you publish it?  It's good research practice to write a detailed DMP for your project.

Publishing supporting research data

BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Cancer Research UK and Wellcome all require researchers to publish supporting research data in an open data repository unless the data must be restricted for security, confidentiality or commercial reasons.  The University has written some guidance on choosing a data repository.  A data repository will provide you with a DOI for your research data.  This makes your research data easy to find and it means your research data will be preserved for a minimum of ten years.   UKRI has written some guidance on publishing research data.

For further information, please read the relevant funder policy:

Data Access Statements

Current UKRI Open Access policy states you must include a data access statement in your paper.  The most common types of Data Access Statement are:

  1. Our supporting research dataset is published in the [insert name of repository] open data repository.  DOI:  http://doi.org/NNNNNNNNN
  2. Our supporting research dataset is published with restrictions in the [insert name of repository].  The restrictions are described in the Non-disclosure Agreement  or the End-User Licence Agreement.  DOI:  http://doi.org/NNNNNNNNN
  3. Our supporting research dataset will not be published because it contains personal and / or sensitive data.
  4. No new research data were generated.

In Example 2, the DOI resolves to the landing page for the dataset only.  The dataset cannot be downloaded unless you meet all the terms of the Non-disclosure Agreement or the End-User Licence Agreement.

Finally, saying "Data available on request" is not an acceptable Data Access Statement for all sorts of reasons.  It is too easy for a request to remain unfulfilled.  The main benefit of making data easily findable by DOI is that it increases the transparency and reproducibility of research.