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Research data management policy

A PDF version of the policy is available to download.

The policy in brief

  1. Manchester Metropolitan University firmly believes that good research data management is the foundation of good research, since it allows for the verification of findings and supports digital preservation.
     
  2. Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.[1]
     
  3. The benefits of opening up research data for scrutiny and reuse are potentially very significant; including economic growth, increased resource efficiency, securing public support for research funding and increasing public trust in research. However, openness implies more than disclosure of data. All those engaged with research have a responsibility to ensure that the data they gather and generate is properly managed, and made accessible, intelligible, assessable and usable by others unless there are legitimate reasons to the contrary.[2]

[1] RCUK, Common Principles on Research Data Management (April 2011; rev. July 2015): https://www.ukri.org/files/legacy/documents/rcukcommonprinciplesondatapolicy-pdf/

[2] RCUK, Concordat on Open Research Data (July 2016): https://www.ukri.org/files/legacy/documents/concordatonopenresearchdata-pdf/

This policy is an important element of Manchester Metropolitan University's approach to ensuring research excellence. It recognises the value and importance of data to the University and to others, and demonstrates the University's commitment to adhering to research funder data policies. It also reflects the University's desire to go beyond compliance and generate added value from the resources we put into compliance issues.

  1. This policy applies to any member of university staff or postgraduate researcher (PGR) involved in the creation, collection or generation of research data, regardless of whether or not the research is funded.
     
  2. Supervisors of PGRs undertaking research should ensure that their students are aware of the relevant research data management requirements and have a clear understanding of appropriate practice.
     
  3. The policy does not apply to taught postgraduate students or undergraduates, but support and guidance for best research practice is available to everyone.
1. Research Data

Research Councils UK (RCUK) defines research data as 'the evidence that underpins the answer to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form (e.g. print, digital or physical). These might be quantitative information or qualitative statements collected by researchers in the course of their work by experimentation, observation, modelling, interview or other methods, or information derived from existing evidence. Data may be raw or primary (e.g. direct from measurement or collection) or derived from primary data for subsequent analysis or interpretation (e.g. cleaned up or as an extract from a larger data set), or derived from existing sources where the rights may be held by others. Data may be defined as 'relational' or 'functional' components of research, thus signalling that their identification lies in whether and how researchers use them as evidence for claims.

They may include, for example, statistics, collections of digital images, sound recordings, transcripts of interviews, survey data and fieldwork observations with appropriate annotations, an interpretation, an artwork, archives, found objects, published texts or a manuscript.’[1]
 

[1] RCUK, Concordat on Open Research Data.

 

2. Research project

For the purposes of this policy, ‘Research Project’ refers to any programme of research, whether funded or funded, which is led by an academic or postgraduate researcher (PGR) at Manchester Metropolitan University.

 

3. Data management plan (DMP)

DMPs are living documents that describe how data will be managed during the life of a project. DMPs are often requested by funders at the bidding stage and should state what data will be created and how, as well as outlining plans for sharing and preservation. Any restrictions on access to the data should be noted, along with mechanisms to protect unauthorised access.

1. Manchester Metropolitan University endorses RCUK’s Concordat on Open Research Data (2016) and the Research Data Management expectations of individual funders. The University requires all staff and students to adhere to these policies, as well as taking into account any other research data management requirements that apply.

 

2. Responsibility for research data management during any project or programme lies with the Principal Investigator (PI).

 

3. Researchers are responsible for appraising data for depositing and preserving in the University’s Institutional Data Repository. Best practice indicates that this should be data which verify published research findings, are of long-term academic value, or have legal or funder requirements for retention.
 

4. A DMP should be produced for each proposed research project or funding application, which should explicitly address the capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, preservation, sharing and publication of research data.

 

5. It is not always possible or appropriate to make research data open, but any restrictions to access must be justifiable and justified.

  1. The University provides a secure Institutional Data Repository, which researchers are strongly encouraged to use.
     
  2. The University is responsible for the provision of training support and advice on research data management.
     
  3. The University provides support to researchers in the process of depositing research data in the Institutional Data Repository, and will review all deposits before creating live data records.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the University’s other policies and guidelines, such as:

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