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Research Data Management Policy at NUI Galway

  • Research data of future historical interest, and all research data that represent records of the University, including data that substantiate research findings, will be offered and assessed for deposit and retention in an appropriate national or international data service or domain repository, or a University repository.
  • Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be handed over to commercial publishers or agents without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding. An exemption from this must be agreed with the Technology Transfer Office.

Read the Research Data Management Policy at NUI Galway

Reasons for sharing data

  • Impact & longevity: Your data may be cited by others. Open publications and data receive more citations, over longer periods
  • Compliance: Funders, publishers and institutions may require that you share your data
  • Transparency & quality: Your findings can be replicated and compared with other studies
  • Collaboration: creates opportunities for follow on research and collaboration
  • Re-use: Your data can be used in novel ways. Data sharing facilitates re-use of your data for future / follow-on research and discovery as data collection can be funded / collected once, and used many times for a variety of purposes
  • Efficiency: Data sharing is good research practice!

There may be reasons for not sharing your data e.g. privacy and confidentiality issues, commercial value of the data.  Horizon 2020 has coined the phrase “As open as possible, as closed as necessary.”

If you are unable to publicly share your data, consider the possibility that you may wish to make your data available internally to future researchers to facilitate follow-on research, and/or to create a metadata record in your chosen archives or repository. A metadata record will describe your data and aid others in knowing about it. In order to ensure this can happen you will need to manage your data.

Ref: CONUL Research Group (2018). Where to submit data: CONUL Information Sheet.

Legal and ethical considerations

Some data may not be suitable for sharing. There may be legal or ethical factors to consider e.g., consent, privacy, copyright or commercial considerations.

For further information read the DCCs (Digital Curation Centre) guide on How to appraise and select research data for curation

Data deposits should be accompanied by supporting documentation and metadata to help others make sense of your data.A data license to indicate how you expect the data to be used is also necessary. For further information Information  read the DCCs (Digital Curation Centre) guide on How to License Research Data

Restricting access to your research data

There are many reason why access to research data may need to be restricted. Some examples are provided below
“We intend to make a patent application, and must avoid prior disclosure.”
“Don’t want to make locations of members of endangered species available to poachers.”
“The research data are confidential because of the arrangement my research group has made with the commercial partner sponsoring our research.”
“My data form part of a long-term study upon which my research group is entirely reliant for its on-going research publications and academic reputation.  We only share this with trusted colleagues.”