University of Oxford research data policy

Policy overview

The University of Oxford Research Data Management Policy applies to all members of the University who are involved in research.

Summary of key points:

  • The research data covered by the policy is the information needed ‘to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs’, or which is required for legal or regulatory compliance
  • Research data should be:
    • Securely stored, identifiable, retrievable, accurate, complete, and reliable
    • Compliant with legal and ethical requirements
    • Where possible, able to be made available to others
  • The University is responsible for providing access to the support, services, infrastructure, and training needed to allow researchers to comply with the policy
  • Researchers are responsible for:
    • Developing and documenting clear data management procedures: creation of a data management plan is encouraged
    • Preserving and providing appropriate access to their research data after the end of their project
    • Ensuring that confidential, personal, and sensitive research data is appropriately protected
  • Research data should be preserved for ‘as long as it has continuing value’, but the minimum retention period is the longer of:
    • Three years after public release or completion of the research
    • Any period specified in a grant or contract related to the work
  • Researchers are expected to deposit data supporting other outputs in an appropriate data repository, and to provide sufficient information to ensure it can be found, understood, and cited
    • If data is deposited somewhere other than in ORA, the University's institutional repository, a metadata record should also be created in ORA which describes and points to the data
  • The policy applies to all staff and students conducting or supporting research at, or on behalf of, the University

For more details on any of the above, please see the full text of the policy. Further guidance on applying the policy is also available.

A record describing the policy can be found in the FAIRsharing registry.

Policy history

The current policy came into effect in November 2023, after approval by the University’s Research and Innovation committee. It superseded the Policy on the Management of Data Supporting Research Outputs, which was in place from December 2018, which in turn superseded the earlier Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records, approved by Council in July 2012.