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Depositing data in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA): Open data & funders

Purpose of this guide

Use this page for advice about funder requirements for open data, and selecting an appropriate data repository..

Funder requirements for open data

Most funders have some form of policy regarding managing research data, from requiring data management plans at the proposal stage, through to expectations about depositing and sharing your data publicly. The extent and detail of these policies can vary.

For example, the EPSRC do not define research data as every piece of data produced during a project. EPSRC have indicated that they expect the data which underpins published research outputs to be kept as a priority, so you can decide in consultation with your project team what should be kept and what should not. In contrast, Cancer Research UK’s data preservation policy encompasses all high quality data from funded research that can be shared regardless of whether they have been used in a publication.

For a summary of the requirements and advice on open data from some of Oxford's main sponsors, please see the list maintained on the Research Data Oxford website.

Making your data open: selecting a data repository

When choosing a data archive to hold your digital research materials, it is a good idea to consider whether it offers the following:

1. Long term archiving: check the terms and conditions of the archive carefully to ensure it will retain your data for as long as you require, or at least give you sufficient notice of removal.

2. A record for the data: funders and publishers often require that datasets can be cited and found – to this end, the dataset should have a persistent, meaningful and discoverable record.

3. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs):  it is rapidly becoming the norm that datasets require a unique identifier so they can be found and cited, and some major funders recommend (although don't require) that a DOI is used.

4. Meets funder requirements: these may include:

  • ensuring access for a given period (e.g. for 10 years after the last access)
  • assigning sufficient descriptive metadata to locate and understand the data
  • assignment of a DOI or other unique identifier for citation.

Finding a data repository

There are many research data repositories other than ORA, including both national and subject-specific archives. You may find one which is more appropriate for your particular purposes.