Research Data Management (RDM)

Research data management is also an area of increased focus for government and funding councils. Research data management is also good research practice, which the University wishes to promote to all research active staff and students. Managing and sharing research data appropriately has significant potential benefits for the University, researchers and society, including the potential to engage the research community at Brunel and beyond, and increase research impact.

To support this, a new research data management (RDM) policy for the University was approved by Senate in June 2014 which builds on the previous statement for managing research data approved in November 2011. Under the policy, all researchers, whether they are funded or not, are expected to prepare a research data management plan and to manage and publish research data appropriately.

The University has launched a research data archive, Brunel figshare, to help researchers store and publish Brunel research data and comply with institutional and funder requirements. Help with research data management issues is available from the Library's Research Support Services team:

Funder research data requirements

Research Councils UK (RCUK) views making research data available as a core part of its remit as stated in the RCUK common principles on research data policy

Individual funder policies vary. To check your funder's requirements, see guidance provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

All RCUK-funded publications, should also contain a brief statement describing how and on what terms the supporting research data can be accessed if the data is not published with the publication. For suggested wording, see Data statement for publications below.

All researchers funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK) are expected to use Brunel figshare to publish:

  • either research data related to publications arising from RCUK funding;
  • or related metadata and terms of access to datasets where more suitable open access data storage is provided, or data cannot be made available. 

Additional EPSRC requirements

As of 1 May 2015, EPSRC has implemented its policy framework on research data outlining the expectations which research organisations and researchers must meet to remain eligible for funding. 

All publications that acknowledge EPSRC funding, like other research councils, are required to make the supporting research data openly accessible, except where an exception applies, eg for confidential data.

Data should be published alongside the publication where possible, or a persistent link to the data in a suitable open access location, such as Brunel figshare, should be included in the data statement.

EPSRC-funded researchers should apply for Gold open access funding when publishing journal articles and conference proceedings.

Data statement for publications

Where data cannot be made open, either temporarily or permanently, all researchers, especially those who are funded by RCUK, are required to include a a brief statement describing how and on what terms the supporting research data can be accessed with a central point of contact, which should be 

Suggested text is as follows:

The supporting research data and/or metadata can be accessed on the following terms (give details). Details of how to access it can be found at:

Linking data to publications

Data held in Brunel figshare, can be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to be a persistent identifier for the linked dataset, irrespective of where it is hosted in future. This makes it ideal to use as a link on publications.

It is possible to assign a DOI to datasets which will be released at a later date, or to documents containing metadata describing the dataset and terms of access, and to include this DOI in advance on related publications. This will comply with RCUK and institutional data requirements, even where data cannot be shared or is hosted externally. It can also be used to document information and metadata for non-digital data which cannot be converted into digital format.

If you are using an external repository, you should ensure that it can provide a stable URI, and is sufficiently robust to meet any applicable funder requirements. Contact the Research Data Manager for further advice.

Reporting research data centrally

The University is required to manage and log any data access requests from third parties and report to funders on compliance. All researchers should send the following information relating to the supporting research data for all published journal articles and conference proceedings to the Research Data Manager including:

  • data type, description and location, eg a URL, physical location
  • data owner or contact
  • data status, eg public or embargoed
  • for data which is not publicly accessible, a description of the terms of access and the exceptions which may apply, eg confidential or sensitive data

How to access Brunel datasets

Some open access datasets are available in the University's research data archive: and we will be adding to these as data is published. 

External access requests for supporting research datasets which are held by the University and which are not openly accessible in Brunel data should be directed to the Research Data Manager: 

Guidance and support

Library Research Support Services is continuing to develop and refine procedures and systems to support researchers in the new environment. For information and advice on research data management, to register a dataset, or let us know your needs, please contact us.

The links on the left will take you to various documents and support packages designed to help you manage your research data. See also Dissemination and impact (staff only).

Page last updated: Wednesday 17 June 2015