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Research data management

Do I need to share all of my data?

No. You will need to decide which data to keep and which to discard.

Generally speaking, you should keep and store any data which:

  • Validate or underpin the findings in your research outputs
  • Are of potential long-term value
  • Provide information of commercial value
  • You are contractually obliged to retain
  • Would be difficult or expensive to replicate

Any data which you choose not to keep must be securely disposed of.

I have created code rather than data - do I need to share this?

You are expected to share your code if it is necessary to validate your research findings. Anyone wishing to use your code would need to cite you appropriately, according to the Creative Commons licence you attribute to your code.

Read more about Creative Commons licences.

How long should I keep my data for?

This depends on your funder’s requirements.

Manchester Metropolitan University has a minimum retention period of 10 years since the date the data were last requested. However for some projects, including some funded by the Medical Research Council, the recommended minimum retention period is 20 years.

Check your funder's retention policy.

When should I share my data?

This depends on your funder’s requirements. Guidance from research councils varies from between 3 months and 2 years post-collection.Check your funder’s requirements.

Most funders will allow you a period of exclusive first use of your data to allow you to publish your outputs and/or file any patents arising from your work. In order to maximise the impact of your data, you should still upload a full metadata entry into e-space at the earliest possible opportunity.

For research funded by Manchester Metropolitan University, research data should be stored in e-space at the end of the project, or by the date of first publication, whichever is earliest.

Can I store live project data on e-space?

When you deposit data into e-space, your item is assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which is a unique URL that makes it easier for others to cite your data. Since DOIs are persistent identifiers, if you make any changes to your data, your DOI will no longer be valid and you will need a new DOI to be assigned to your deposited item. As such, e-space is unsuitable for storing live project data you are likely to edit.

However there are several options for storing live project data. For the most suitable solution for your research project, email