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Support for EPSRC-funded researchers

To help them comply with EPSRC expectations, UCL researchers will find here a few definitions, as well as support with publishing & Open Access, storing & preserving research data, digitizing non-digital research data, recording requests by third parties to access data, publishing the metadata of datasets, using a Data Management Plan and costing Data Management. Further help is also available.


What is research data?

UCL Research Data Policy - Definition of research data

" "Data are facts, observations or experiences on which an argument or theory is constructed or tested. Data may be numerical, descriptive, aural or visual. Data may be raw, abstracted or analysed, experimental or observational. Data include but are not limited to: laboratory notebooks; field notebooks; primary research data (including research data in hardcopy or in computer readable form); questionnaires; audiotapes; videotapes; models; photographs; films; test responses. Research collections may include slides; artefacts; specimens; samples."

EPSRC Research Data Policy - Definition of research data

" "Research data is defined as recorded factual material commonly retained by and accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings; although the majority of such data is created in digital format, all research data is included irrespective of the format in which it is created."

What is metadata?

Metadata are commonly defined as "data about other data", i.e. a description of your data, including key information that would make them discoverable.

Why is information governance important?

UCL Information Governance Advisory Services "provide advice and support to researchers handling or applying to handle sensitive data." Researchers can ask for help and guidance to store, manage and analyse such data.

Publishing & Open Access

Information and guidance on Open Access publishing is available.
Email the Open Access Team or call on 020 3108 1336 (internal 51336) for help.

Information and guidance to deposit papers in UCL Discovery is available.
Email the Discovery Team for help.

Storing & preserving your research data

You can choose between the following five options:

  1. UCL Research Data Storage: if you are about to start or are currently working on your data you can use this infrastructure. Guidance is available.

    Email the Research Data Services Team for help.

  2. UCL Data Safe Haven: if you handle sensitive data as part of your research project you can use this infrastructure. Information and guidance is available.
  3. UCL Digital Collections: if you have finished working on your data you can use this infrastructure.

    Email the Digital Curation Manager for help.

  4. UCL Discovery: if you need to make publicly accessible small datasets underpinning your publications you can use this infrastructure. Guidance is available.

    Email the Discovery Team for help.

  5. External repositories: your datasets can alternatively be deposited in an established external data repository. A list of such repositories and their characteristics can be found in the international registry Re3data.org.

    It is a good idea to ask your departmental IT specialist for advice.

Digitizing your non-digital research data

Non-digital research data can be digitized. For help, costing and advice, email the Digital Curation Manager.

Recording requests by third parties to access your data

A system to record such requests centrally will soon be put in place and advertised. In the meantime please keep a copy of any such request in a dedicated folder.

If you receive such a request please forward it to the project’s Principal Investigator as s/he should always be consulted about access to the project data.

Publishing the metadata of your datasets

To create your metadata please follow the recommendations of DataCite.

As a general rule your metadata should at least specify an identifier (a DOI), a creator (the name and affiliation of the main researchers involved in producing the dataset), a title (the name or title by which the dataset is known), a publisher (the name of the entity that holds the dataset) and a publication date (the year when the dataset was or will be made publicly available).

How to obtain a Digital Object Identifier for your research data:

It depends on your chosen data repository: contact UCL Research Data Storage, UCL Digital Collections or your external repository.

Where to publish your metadata of datasets (i.e. make them publicly available on the web):

It depends on your chosen data repository: contact UCL Research Data Storage, UCL Digital Collections or your external repository.

Using a Data Management Plan when developing your project and/or applying for funding

For help and advice, please contact your Research Data Support Officer.

Costing Data Management when developing your project and/or applying for funding

As no detailed Data Management costing guides can yet be created, it is a good idea to at least identify the different activities that are likely to weight on your project budget, depending on when you undertake them. To anticipate these activities you can use this guide.

More help

To understand more about Research Data Management and your responsibilities you may find it useful to read UCL Research Data Policy, EPSRC Research Data Policy and its clarifications of expectations.

If you have any difficulty in meeting these expectations, and at whatever stage of your project, please contact your Research Data Support Officer.

These FAQs for EPSRC-funded projects can also be of great help.