Library Services


Research Data Management FAQ

If you can't find the answer you need, please contact the Research Data Management team.

FAQ sections

Storing, securing and backing up

How should I store sensitive and personal research data?

UCL's Trusted Research Environment (currently known as Data Safe Haven) should be used to store personal and sensitive data. You can find further information on ethical and legal issues around handling personal and sensitive data.

Who should I go to for advice on including data storage costs in a research grant application?

Contact the Research Data team on researchdata-support@ucl.ac.uk, part of the Advanced Research Computing Centre (ARC) who can advise on costs. Currently 1TB is available free of charge but it's possible to purchase additional storage. You can find more information and register your project on the Research Data Storage Service webpage.

Is it safe to use cloud services like Dropbox to store and share data?

Generally it's not recommended to use cloud services to store or transfer research data. The Information Security Group have written some guidance on cloud services to advise you. You can also find alternative storage options including using UCL infrastructure on our guide to storing data. If you need an alternative to commercial services you can use the in-house UCL Drop Box.

Archiving, preserving and curating data

How long should I keep my research data?

If your project is funded, check your funder's guidance. If it's not, you should follow UCL's Research Data Policy and keep your data for ten years after you've published any research.

How can I preserve and share research software?

We have guidance available outlining some approaches to preserving and sharing research software and you can also contact the UCL Data Stewards for advice and support with this.

Discovery, access and sharing data

How can I create metadata for my research data?

Metadata are commonly defined as “data about other data”, i.e. a description of your research data, including key information that would make them discoverable. You can find more information about creating metadata for your data on our Creating and Analysing data webpage, under the 'Describing your data: metadata and documentation' section.

I am about to publish my article, where can I share my research data?

If there is one available for your area, share your data in a trustworthy subject specific repository. They have the most appropriate skills to manage your data and your data will be more visible to your research community. Alternatively,  use another established generic open access repository or UCL's Research Data Repository. See the section on 'Sharing Data: when & where?' on our guide to Sharing data to find an appropriate repository.

What is a Data Access Statement and do I need one in my publication?

They are also sometimes referred to as Data Availability Statements and explain how and where the data supporting your publication can be accessed. This University of Bath guide includes examples of different Data Access Statements. It's good practice to include one in your publication and some funders may require it. To check if your funder requires it, check the funder policies.

How do I get a DOI to link to my research data?

Most data repositories will assign a DOI when you upload your data, including UCL's Research Data Repository. You can find instructions for reserving a DOI for your item in UCL's repository in the user guide. Once the item is published the DOI will become active. You can use the DOI, which is a persistent link, to share your data, for example in a Data Access Statement.

Getting help

Who can help me to write and negotiate my research contracts?

UCL Contract services provide advice and review, draft and negotiate all research-related agreements for UCL, with some exclusions such as Clinical Trial Agreements and EU grants and contracts. You can find more information on the Contract Services webpages.

Who can help me to write my Data Management Plan?

The Research Data Management team can review your Data Management Plan and provide support and feedback, please contact us at lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk. There's also a self-guided tutorial and training sessions available to learn more.