Frequently asked questions


Why does the RVC have a policy on RDM?

The College recognises the high value placed on research and asserts that good research is supported and underpinned by good research data management. The College is also committed to ensuring that research conducted maintains the highest possible standards of integrity. Research data will be managed to the highest standards throughout the research data lifecycle. 

What are my responsibilities as a Principal Investigator?

Principal  Investigators  have  overall  responsibility  for  the  effective  management  of  research  data generated within or obtained for their research, including by their research groups. This includes developing a data management plan (DMP) at the start of a project, ensuring that data is stored in a way that minimises the risk of loss and making shareable data publicly available where this is required to validate published research. See the policy for details. The Library and Information Services team will provide training, guidance and services to support PIs.

What is research data?

Research data is the evidence that underpins all research conclusions and includes data that has been collected, observed, generated, created or obtained from commercial, government or other sources, for subsequent analysis and synthesis to produce original research results. These results are then used to generate research papers and submitted for publication.

What should I do at the planning stage?

You should consider what data you are likely to generate, how the data is going to be used, what data you will have to store, how you will store it and what you will do with the data when the project ends. This will inform overall project planning, minimise risk of loss of data and allow you to cover the costs of data management in your grant. The best way to do this is to develop a data Management plan (DMP) by using DMP Online to help you.

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A data management plan or DMP is a document that outlines how you will handle your data both during your research, and after the project is completed. Most research funders either require you to submit a DMP with a proposal or a data sharing plan. For further guidance please check the DMP page.

Where can I store my research data?

At the RVC, the Infrastructure Services Directorate (ISD) provides centrally managed storage for research and the cost for using this storage for your project can be found here. These storage areas are mapped under the O: and R: drive under research storage and all Principal Investigators will be able to request that a folder is set up in one of those areas. Once the folder has been set up access can then be given to others who are working on the same research project.

What is a data access statement?

In line with RCUK and individual funder policies, all research publications produced by any RVC authors must include a statement on how the underlying data can be accessed (a ‘data access statement’). Further guidance and RCUK guidelines.

Where can I publish my data?

The easiest way to make data available is to deposit it in a public repository (also known as an archive or data centre). In many cases, this will also meet the requirement to archive your data for the long term. Most data repositories will give you a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your dataset, enabling it to be cited and tracked like a regular publication. The RVC provides guidance on identifying a suitable data repository.

Do I have to publish all my data?

All funders require that all the data required to validate any published research has to be made public.

This is usually only a subset of the data created by a project, and funders accept that academics/PIs will evaluate this in line with disciplinary practice. Funders, and the RVC, also recognise that not all data can be made publicly available, for example where patient or other sensitive data is concerned or where data cannot be shared for legal reasons.

When does my data have to be published?

the data that underpins the research should be made available when the research that it supports is published. In some rare cases it may be necessary to embargo the data for a reasonable period, for example when other outputs based on the data have not yet been published. The RVC recognises the PI’s entitlement to be the first to publish based on data they have generated. If the PI aren't be able to publish their findings by the funder’s deadline for data sharing, the PI should request an extension of the embargo period from the funder.

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