The EPSRC policy implementation deadline is now just over six weeks away – and we all know that it will have a significant impact on a range of institutional and RDM stakeholders, including research organisations, researchers/grant-holders and non-academic partners. The policy’s bottom line is that looking after and sharing research data is part of the research process, and the May 1st deadline is all about the need to have a strategy in place for the long-term management of the data coming out of the research that it funds. It’s not rocket science – data must be available to the wider research community in a timely, cost-effective manner (and with as few practical barriers being put in place as possible).

So how will these EPSRC principles specifically affect the major stakeholders? Let’s take a look:

Research organisations

These guys have the primary responsibility for ensuring that researchers manage their data effectively. To achieve EPSRC readiness by May, they need to demonstrate that infrastructure and processes are in place to ensure that EPSRC-funded research data is preserved for a minimum of 10 years. What’s more, they must provide effective data curation throughout the entire data lifecycle, as well as provide justification of any access restrictions.

Researchers and grant-holders

These folks need to understand and follow the updated EPSRC’s principles and expectations for research data management. These steps include making EPSRC-funded research data freely and openly available with as few restrictions as possible; ensuring published metadata describes how to access supporting data; and establishing project-specific research data management plans.

Non-academic partners in research collaborations

These potentially third-party groups need to do what’s necessary to ensure that data is as openly available as possible and that access restrictions are minimised. Before the start of a collaborative research project, they need to adequately address issues of freedom of information, data ownership and confidentiality in the research data management plan – and address each of them in relation to how data access restrictions are going to be minimised.

Clearly, the EPSRC policy is about to (if it hasn’t already) impact many research stakeholders. We can actually help you find a solution that guarantees effective data curation for the long term. Click here to explore how.