STFC Scientific Data Policy

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) aims to ensure that scientific data produced at its facilities are carefully managed and optimally exploited, both in the short and the long-term.

A summary of the main STFC requirements for:

Data management plans

Proposals for STFC-funded projects that would result in the production or collection of scientific data should include a data management plan (DMP), or an attachment explaining why a data management plan is not relevant.

The STFC DMP guidance recommends eight areas that a plan should address, that the DMP should be no longer than 2 pages, and advises applicants to follow the guidance provided by the Digital Curation Centre.

Help with costs

STFC will consider costs associated with the data management plan as part of the grant review process.

Data deposit and retention

Data should be deposited in an appropriate repository, “chosen to maximise the scientific value from aggregation of related data”.

STFC expects that original/raw data are retained for a minimum of 10 years from the end of the project, while data that cannot be re-measured should be retained indefinitely.

Data underpinning published findings should be available within six months of the output’s publication.

Data access and sharing

A defined period of exclusive use is permitted; thereafter data must be made publicly available unless there are specific reasons why this should not happen. “Publicly available means available to anyone.”

Data access statements

The STFC Scientific Data Policy includes the RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy. Therefore, “published results should always include information on how to access the supporting data." See our guidance on Data access statements: Sharing, preserving and depositing your data: Data citation.

Further sources of help

Write a DMP for the STFC using DMPonline

DMPonline, a web-based tool provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), can help you create an effective DMP that meets the requirements set by the STFC.

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