EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s policy sets out nine expectations concerning the management and provision of access to EPSRC-funded research. EPSRC grant-holders have a responsibility to understand and adhere to the EPSRC’s expectations and principles on data sharing. 

“The expectation is that data relied on in published research findings will, by default, be available for scrutiny by others.”


A summary of the main EPSRC requirements for:

Data management plans

Unlike other UK Research Councils, the EPSRC does not require a data management plan (DMP) to be submitted with the grant application. However, the EPSRC does require that all funded projects have, and implement, a data management plan.

Help with costs

The EPSRC believes that it is appropriate to use public funds to support the preservation and management of research data. Therefore, direct costs associated with all aspects of research data management are eligible research grant costs, as long as the costs are "incurred before the end date of the grant".

Data deposit and retention

The EPSRC does not run its own data repository but places expectations on research organisations to securely preserve research data for at least 10 years after any privileged access period expires. 

To meet this expectation the University provides the Research Data York service, where no other suitable data repository is available. The Research Data York service enables University of York researchers to store their research data for the long term, so that it remains accessible for the researchers involved, and where appropriate for others.

Metadata describing the retained/deposited research data should normally be published within 12 months of the data being generated. To meet this expectation a datasets record on PURE (login required) should be created for all retained research data.

Data is expected to be released no later than the publication of findings.

Data access and sharing

The EPSRC expects research data to be made as freely and openly available as possible, whilst also recognising that there may be legal, ethical or commercial reasons why access to data may need to be restricted.

If access to the data is restricted, the EPSRC expects researchers to provide justification for limiting access to data and to summarise the conditions which must be satisfied for access to be granted. This information should be recorded in the metadata record (the datasets record on PURE) and in the data access statement in a publication.

Data access statements

Published research papers should include a short statement describing how and on what terms any supporting research data may be accessed. The statement should also include a direct link (e.g. a Digital Object Identifier) to the metadata record describing your data. See our guidance on Data access statements.

Compliance

The “EPSRC will monitor progress and compliance on a case by case basis” ... “if it appears that proper sharing of research data is being obstructed EPSRC reserves the right to impose appropriate sanctions.” The mechanisms it currently uses for compliance monitoring focus on research data supporting published findings; it expects these to be made available to others for scrutiny.

Policy last checked: December 2016

Further sources of help

Write a DMP for EPSRC using DMPonline

DMPonline, a web-based tool provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), can help you create an effective DMP for the EPSRC.

To get started, first create an account, then sign in with your institutional credentials. After signing in, click on ‘Create a plan’ and select ‘Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’ when asked for your funder. For additional guidance in completing your plan, choose to see guidance from the University of York and from the DCC in the template provided.