Accessibility statement

Research Data Management Policy

1. Statement of intent 

1.1 The University of York recognises research data as a valuable institutional asset, and the role of good research data management in underpinning University strategic development, essential functions and research integrity. 

Good practice in research data management enables the University and its researchers to meet the standards and responsibilities set out in the University's Code of Practice on Research Integrity and to meet funder, ethical, legal and other responsibilities. It is also essential for enabling and safeguarding the longevity and continuing intelligibility of research data.

1.2 The University supports the Concordat on Open Research Data and the UKRI Common Principles on Research Data and acknowledges the outputs of University research as a public good, produced in the public interest and for societal benefit.   

1.3 The University is committed to the values, principles and culture of open research, as set out in the Open Research Statement. This includes open access to research data, wherever this is appropriate, ensuring that a wide range of audiences can freely discover, engage and reuse its world-class research.

2. Purpose of policy 

2.1 This policy is intended to help promote good practice in research data management, to foster responsibility for data management, and to ensure the sharing of eligible research data with as few restrictions as possible, while at the same time respecting concerns in relation to privacy, safety, security and commercial interests.

2.2 A particular aim is that research data is:

  • stored in a secure and safe manner;
  • identifiable, retrievable and available when needed (and as appropriate);
  • an accurate, complete, reliable and coherent representation of the materials used/collected; 
  • kept in a manner that is compliant with legal and ethical obligations, University policy and, where applicable, the requirements of funding bodies; 
  • able to be made available to others in line with appropriate ethical, data sharing, FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and open access principles.

2.3 The deliberate or reckless mismanagement of research data and/or primary materials constitutes unacceptable research conduct and should be reported in line with the University Research Misconduct Policy and Procedure or the Speak Up (public interest disclosure) Policy and Procedure.

3. Definitions

3.1 For the purpose of this policy, the following terms may be defined as:

  • Research data: the recorded information (regardless of the form or the media in which it may exist) necessary to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs. 
  • Researcher: a member of the University, including staff and postgraduate researchers, or a person affiliated with the University, including visitors and collaborators, who conducts research for, on behalf of, or in association with the University; on University premises; or using University facilities.

4. Scope

4.1 This policy applies to all research conducted by University staff and postgraduate researchers, and those who are conducting research on behalf of the University. 

4.2 The Policy does not apply to taught postgraduate and undergraduate students, except in exceptional circumstances, including but not limited to, where research findings are included in published research outputs.

5. Researcher responsibilities

5.1 Principal Investigators and project leads have overall responsibility for effective data management during research projects. However, all researchers have a personal responsibility to effectively manage the research data generated within or obtained from their research, and must act in accordance with this policy. 

5.2 Responsibility for ensuring the effective day-to-day management of research data lies with the researcher with overall responsibility for a research project, including by their research groups. This includes understanding and complying with any provisions regarding the ownership, preservation and dissemination of research data of research contracts with or grants to the University. 

5.3 In line with good practice, researchers are strongly encouraged to routinely prepare, maintain and adhere to a data management plan for their research projects. Data management plans should address the capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, retention, ownership, sharing and publication of research data, including compliance with relevant legal and ethical frameworks. Plans must also adhere to any funder requirements where these exist. 

5.4 Researchers will identify the resources required to effectively manage research data and will seek, where possible, to recover the direct costs of managing research data and any work needed to make the data available for sharing from their research funder. 

5.5 Researchers will protect confidential, personal and sensitive research data in accordance with legal and ethical requirements related to the research they conduct. Legal, ethical and commercial constraints on the sharing of research data must be considered at the initiation of the research process and throughout the research data lifecycle, and will normally be described in a data management plan. 

5.6 Researchers will preserve and provide appropriate access to their research data for as long as it is of continuing value to the researcher and the wider research community, and as long as specified by research funders, patent law, legislative and other regulatory requirements. 

5.7 Researchers should offer the research data they have selected for preservation and sharing to an appropriate data repository, along with sufficient descriptive metadata and documentation to ensure that it can be found and understood.   Where research data is deposited somewhere other than the University’s data repository (Research Data York), a dataset record should also be created in the University’s Research Information System (PURE) which describes and points to the data. 

5.8 Researchers must include a data access statement in their published research outputs which clearly describes how and on what terms any supporting data may be accessed. 

5.9 Technicians, professional and support staff instrumental in contributing to the collection and/or generation of research data should be acknowledged and their contribution specified in descriptive metadata and in data access statements. 

5.10 Researchers must securely dispose of research data identified for deletion or destruction, in accordance with legal, ethical, research funder and collaborator requirements and with particular concern for the confidentiality and security of the data.

5.11 Where research is undertaken by postgraduate researchers, it is the responsibility of the staff member supervising their project to ensure that the postgraduate researcher has a clear understanding of their research data management responsibilities and engages with training and development as necessary. Supervisors should work with the postgraduate researcher to determine which research data is selected for archiving and sharing and to decide an appropriate route to achieve this.

6. University responsibilities

6.1 The University acknowledges its obligations under research funders’ data policies and codes of practice to ensure that sound systems are in place to promote and reinforce good practice in research data management.

6.2 The University will provide:

  • researchers with access to training, support, advice and information on all aspects of research data management;
  • access to services and facilities for the storage, backup, registration, deposit and discovery of research data that allow researchers to meet their requirements under this policy and those of the funders for their research;
  • the necessary resources to enable the provision of these services, facilities and training. 

7. Relationship with existing policies 

7.1 As part of a commitment to research excellence, the University seeks to promote the highest standards in the management of research data throughout the research data lifecycle. As such, research data will be managed in accordance with this and with the University’s other policies and guidelines including:


Status of this document 
Document owner: Library, Archives and Learning Services
Approved by University Research Committee: 28 September 2023 
Review cycle: 1 year, thereafter 3 years 
Date of next review: 2024, 2027


Lindsey Myers
Open Research Librarian

Research Data Management Policy (PDF , 61kb)


The research data management guide is a practical guide to help you manage your research data well.