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  1. Research integrity
  2. Research data management
  3. Funder policies on research data management
    1. Key funder RDM information

Funder policies on research data management

Researchers who are in receipt of funding are advised to note guidelines produced by funders in relation to open access and research data management prior to starting their research project.

Funder policies and online resources

Explore a compiled list of key information and online resources from City's key funders, inclusive of, but not limited to:

  • EC Horizon
  • ESRC
  • Royal Academy of engineering
  • Innovate UK

RCUK funding

If you are funded by RCUK, you should comply with the RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy. The policy points out that:

  • your published paper has to be accompanied by a statement that discloses the conditions under which your data can be accessed by third parties.
  • publicly funded research is a public good therefore it ‘should be made publicly available with as few restrictions as possible.’

Additionally, The Digital Curation Centre has produced a summary with funders’ requirements on:

  • publication,
  • data policies, and
  • support provided
Oxford University and The University of Salford also provide useful online guidance in relation to research data management.


The Engineering & Physical Science Research Council have published requirements of what is expected from researchers who are in receipt of EPSRC funding.

Scholars with EPSRC funding

The following expectations affect the way researchers handle and store their data:

  • All EPSRC-funded research must include a short statement describing how and on what terms supporting data may be accessed.
  • Data that support ‘published research findings will, by default, be available for scrutiny by others’. However, there may be ‘compelling legal or ethical reasons’ to restrict access to the data (i.e. personal information).
  • EPSRC-funded research data should be securely preserved for a minimum of 10 years.
  • ‘Appropriately structured metadata describing the research data’ should be published and made freely available online ‘(normally within 12 months of the data being generated)’.
  • Where data are restricted, metadata should summarise the reasons why and the conditions under which they could be made available.
  • Non-digital data should ‘be stored in a manner to facilitate it being shared in the event of a valid request for access to the data being received’.

Notes on how to comply with the EPSRC principles

How to make my publication eligible for REF?

All publications published after 1 May 2015 should include a Data Access Statement (DAS) describing how the data supporting the publication can be accessed.

Examples of DAS:

  • ‘Data underlying this article can be accessed on figshare at web link’
  • ‘Supplementary data associated with this study can be found in the online version at web link’
  • ‘No new data was collected in the course of this research’

To be eligible for the REF, journal articles and conference proceedings with an ISSN accepted for publication after 1st April 2016  need to be deposited in the institutional or subject repository (CRO).  According to the current REF policy, papers published between April 2016 and April 2018 need to be deposited within 3 months of the first publication date.

From  April 2018, papers will need to be deposited within 3 months of acceptance date; although this is subject to review by HEFCE in autumn 2017.

Research Data

Should be stored securely for at least 10 years in a chosen data repository.

Non-digital data should be stored securely, but also in a manner that can be shared if a third party asks for access to such data.


Should be published within 12 months of the creations of the research data.

Should indicate where the data exist, how they were generated and restrictions applied (if applicable).

Should include a Digital Object Identifier (i.e. a persistent link).

The UK higher education funding bodies support Open Access

The four UK higher education funding bodies support the Open Access to Research agenda and require researchers and their institutions to make certain research outputs open-access to be eligible for submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2021. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in higher education institutions.

Open Access in the Research Excellence Framework exercise 2021

Following extensive consultation with the sector, the four UK higher education funding bodies have introduced an open-access requirement in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). The core of the policy is that journal articles and conference proceedings must be available in an open-access form to be eligible for the next REF in 2021. In practice, this means that these outputs must be uploaded to the institutional repository, City Research Online (CRO).

In addition, the UK funding bodies have indicated in their latest publication, Initial Decisions on the Research Excellence Framework 2021 that it intends that credit be given to submissions that go beyond the basic open access requirement - that journal articles and conference proceedings be put in open access. Institutions also will be required to set out in the Research Environment section of the REF 2021 form details about their open access strategy, including where this goes above and beyond the basic REF open access policy requirements, and wider activity to encourage the effective sharing and management of research data.

Finally, HEFCE is also considering ways in which it can incentivise HEIs to share and manage their research data more effectively. This is in accordance both with their role on the UK Open Research Data Forum, which has published a concordat on open research data, and with the invitation from Government to consider how open data could be rewarded as part of future REF assessments.