Research and Innovation Portal


Data management

Advice, best practice and legal requirements on how best to manage the data you collect, store and share when working on a research or innovation project at UCL.

What is considered data?

Anything you generate during your project can be considered data. It includes but is not limited to:

  • Software or code
  • Spreadsheets
  • Laboratory or field notebooks
  • Questionnaires, test responses and models
  • Audio or video files
  • Historical or modern texts and photographs.

Research Data Management support

UCL Library Services offer essential information for the management of research data for the whole research lifecycle. This includes advice on how to select, document, and store your data for the long term, as well as advice on managing research outputs and handling issues such as copyright and data protection.

The UCL Research Integrity website has a wide range of advice, links to policy, areas to consider, and general questions to consider with all data.

The UCL LMIC toolkit can provide specific advice for research in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Relevant legislation and UCL data management policies

All those involved with handling data should be aware of the relevant legislation and UCL policies.

If you are planning to transfer data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), contact the UCL Data Protection team at: data-protection@ucl.ac.uk

Plan your data management strategy

Find help on how to plan your data management strategy on the UCL Integrity website. They provide links to policy, areas to consider, and general questions to think about with all data.

Writing a data management plan

The Research Data Management team can help you write or review your Data Management plan and give you advice on how to select, document and store your data for the long term.


DMPonline is an online tool developed by the Digital Curation Centre that helps researchers develop Data Management Plans by providing templates for different funders and guidance at each step.

Costing data management

When you are applying for funding, costing all activities associated with data management is not only helpful but often necessary. 

Data protection

Data protection is the fair and proper use of information about people. The Data Protection team have a wide range of resources available to help staff and students understand data protection legislation and how it is interpreted and implemented at UCL.

Reporting a data breach

If you become aware of a security-related issue where information could be accessed inappropriately, please report it. Find out to report an incident on the UCL Information Security website.


Access data protection, intellectual property and data management training at UCL.

Intellectual Property

UCL’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy sets out the principles of ownership/rights to use intellectual property generated by UCL’s staff and students.

Where to store your data

Data storage and preservation are key parts of the research data lifecycle. You will need to determine which system will best meet your project’s requirements for confidentiality, integrity and availability.

If you’re obtaining data under licence or contract (usually via a data-sharing agreement) it’s likely there will be specific requirements for where this data can be stored. Data sharing agreements often include a requirement for secure data destruction. You should check that the system you plan to use will be able to meet this requirement.

Library Services provide useful guidance on storing and preserving research data.

Research Data Storage Service

The Research Data Storage Service is a centrally-managed, resilient data storage facility for UCL researchers who need somewhere to store and share their research data during the active phase of a research project.

Data Safe Haven

The Data Safe Haven (DSH) provides a technical solution for storing, handling and analysing identifiable data. If you plan to handle personal data as part of your research project you should use the DSH. Before requesting access, you will need to complete the Information Governance assurance process.

UCL Research Data Repository

Staff and research students can archive and preserve research outputs using the UCL Research Data Repository. Use the Research Data Repository to publish your datasets, figures, posters, presentations, workflows, data management plans, media and models.

Sharing data

Research data often remain valuable after the life of the research project for which it was generated.

There are many reasons to share research data. It can increase the impact and visibility of your research, increase your academic profile, and lead to new collaborations and partnerships. Funders are also increasingly requiring researchers to share their data. 

You should plan how and when to share your data (if it can be shared). UCL Library Services provide useful guidance on how to share your research data and the potential benefits this brings.

Accessing NHS Data without consent

If you are applying for Section 251 for approval from the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) to access NHS Data without consent, this requires compliance with NHS Digital Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). The Data Safe Haven is UCL’s only IT platform that complies with the DSPT.

Before requesting access to the Data Safe Haven you must complete the Information Governance assurance process.