Research Data Policy
In June 2011 the University's Research Committee approved the following policy and procedure for the management of research data.
The University of Northampton recognises that good research is underpinned by good research data management.
In accordance with the recommendations of Research Councils UK, the university expects researchers to:
- "Keep clear and accurate records of the research procedures followed and the results obtained, including interim results
- Hold records securely in paper or electronic form
- Make relevant primary data and research evidence accessible to others for reasonable periods after the completion of the research: data should normally be preserved and accessible for [at least] ten years"...
- ..."Manage data according to the research funder's data policy, and all relevant legislation
- Wherever possible, deposit data permanently within a national collection." (Research Councils UK, 2009, p.5)
If no appropriate national collection exists then following the completion of the research project all data will be deposited in a secure central storage facility to be provided by the university.
In order to meet these expectations, the Principal Investigator is, at an early stage of their research project, encouraged to produce and then follow a data management plan (DMP). The DMP Online tool is recommended for this purpose.
Research data management procedure
At the start of every funded project, the Principal Investigator will produce a DMP in line with the funder's specific requirements, or if no requirements are specified by the funder, then in accordance with the good practice described by DMP Online.
The Principal Investigator will be responsible for ensuring that the actions outlined in the DMP are carried out.
At the end of a project data will be deposited in either a national collection or in the university's secure central storage facility. If the latter then the data must incorporate adequate descriptive metadata and, if necessary, accompanying explanatory documentation.
Datasets within the university's central storage facility will be subject to review after five years following deposit. The review will be undertaken by the researcher and the Records Manager. In the absence of the original researcher, an appropriate academic colleague will conduct the review with the Records Manager.
If required as a result of the review, data will be destroyed or otherwise securely disposed of by the University Records Manager.
Support for research data management
The following support is currently available to researchers:
- Help with identifying national data archives for the external storage of research data
- Professional advice and support for researchers who receive Freedom of Information (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) requests. Note that if you are a member of University staff and you receive such a request you should notify the University Records Manager immediately.
- Training and advice on research data management
A central storage facility for research data is coming soon.