Applying the policy

Sections 2 and 3 of the University of Oxford Research Data Management Policy set out the responsibilities of the University and researchers respectively. This page offers some pointers to some of the help and resources available to enable researchers to comply with the policy.

2.0 Responsibilities of the University

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2.1  The University will provide:

a. sufficient support, advice and information to researchers on all aspects of research data management.

Research Data Oxford is the University's central source of research data management support and guidance. This website provides information on a range of relevant topics, including good practice advice and pointers to resources and services.

While RDO aims to draw together information and expertise relating to research data management, there are a number of other groups around the University who can advise on particular areas:

Support for specific aspects of research data management such as data storage may also be offered locally, in your division, department, or other unit. Your local IT support staff are often a good first port of call to find out what's available.

2.1  The University will provide:

b. suitable infrastructure to facilitate the appropriate management of research data.

The University provides a range of infrastructure which supports different aspects of the research process. This site provides information about (among other things) storage options for working data, tools for use when collecting data, and services for long-term data preservation. See also the Tools, Services, and Training section.

Work is also constantly underway to improve current services and develop new ones, to meet researchers' needs more effectively, and to adapt to the research landscape as it evolves.

2.1  The University will provide:

c. relevant training to promote best practice in research data management.

Research data management training is provided centrally through the IT Learning Centre and the Bodleian iSkills workshops.

Training may also be offered locally, through your division, department, or other unit.

2.2  In order to support and enable this policy, the University will engage with researchers to ensure that the research data management services and infrastructure capabilities it provides are adequate and fit for the purpose of supporting researchers’ compliance with the policy, ensuring adherence to the FAIR principles for data management.

The Research Data Steering Group, which provides strategic direction for research data management support work in Oxford, includes senior academic representatives from each of the University's divisions.

Projects to improve or develop research data management support services also engage with researchers through requirements gathering activities such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

An overview of the FAIR principles is available in the Sharing data section.

If you would like to discuss an aspect of research data management provision in Oxford, you can email

3.0 Responsibilities of the researcher

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3.1  Principal Investigators hold day-to-day responsibility for the effective management of research data generated within or obtained from their research, including by their research groups. This includes understanding and complying with the requirements of any relevant contract with or grant to the University that includes provisions regarding the ownership, preservation and dissemination of research data.

Principal Investigators who would like to discuss managing research data within their research group can email for personalised advice.

For guidance on research contracts, consult Research Services.

3.2  Researchers will protect confidential, personal and sensitive personal research data in accordance with legal and ethical requirements related to the research they conduct.

The Ethical and legal issues section of this website covers this topic in more detail.

There are a number of groups around the University who can provide guidance in this area:

3.3  Researchers are expected to keep an accurate and comprehensive record of their research, including documenting clear procedures for the collection, storage, use, reuse, access and retention or deletion of the research data associated with their records. Where appropriate, this should include defining and documenting protocols and responsibilities in collaborative research projects. Researchers are encouraged to identify and utilise relevant data standards and protocols, and to document their data-related decisions in a Data Management Plan.

This topic is covered in detail in the Data handling and acquisitionKeeping working data safe, and Data management plans sections of this site.

3.4  Researchers are expected to recognise Intellectual Property arising from their research activities and manage that Intellectual Property according to any funder requirements or contractual obligations, and in accordance with University Statute XVI and associated University Regulations on commercial exploitation.

The University's Intellectual Property team provides specialist advice in this area. Research Data Oxford can also provide general guidance.

For further guidance on the commercial exploitation of research, please consult Oxford University Innovation.

3.5  Researchers will preserve and provide appropriate access to their research data supporting outputs after the end of their project for as long as it has continuing value, in accordance with legal and funder requirements and paying due regard to discipline norms and cost. Notwithstanding, the minimum retention period for research data and records is either three years after publication or public release of the work of the research, or completion if the work is unreleased, or that specified in the contract/grant agreement related to the work, whichever is longest.

This topic is covered in detail in the Post-project data preservation and Sharing data sections of this site.

3.6  Researchers are expected to deposit their data supporting outputs in an appropriate data repository and provide sufficient information (such as a data availability statement and metadata record) to ensure that it can be found, understood, and cited. Where data is deposited somewhere other than the University’s institutional repository (the Oxford Research Archive, or ORA), a metadata record should also be created in ORA which describes and points to the data. External repositories, where used, should support the use of Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCIDs) and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

Further information about data repositories (also known as archives), including ORA, can be found in the Post-project data preservation section of this site.

3.7  Researchers are responsible for informing their Head of Department (or nominee) where their research data will be stored and who will have access to it after they leave (or retire from) the University. The researcher’s department or faculty reserves the right to retain a copy of the data for an appropriate period to ensure compliance with any legal or regulatory responsibilities, and/or research grant or contractual requirements.

Departmental processes and policies vary, so please consult your Head of Department for further information. Research Data Oxford is happy to provide general guidance.