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ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council)

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The ESRC supports the view that publicly funded research data is a public good, produced in the public interest and should be openly available to the maximum extent possible. It is committed to long-term preservation, high quality data management and strengthening the provision for secondary data analysis and expects grant holders to generate scientifically robust data ready for further reuse.

The expectations from the ESRC concerning the management and provision of access to research data and what you will need to do in order to comply with those expectations are summarised below.


Policy


Expectations of particular note

  • Research data should be made available to the scientific community in "a timely and responsible manner".
  • ESRC data service providers are responsible for ensuring long-term access to the data.
  • ESRC expects researchers to investigate copyright issues and to attempt to gain copyright clearance so that data can be shared at the end of the project. The University's copyright officer can assist with copyright issues and can be contacted by emailing copyright@st-andrews.ac.uk.
  • After funding is awarded, grant holders are required to seek further advice and guidance from the UK Data Service.
  • ESRC state that it will monitor compliance with its policies. The final payment of a grant may be withheld if data has not been offered for deposit to the required standard, unless a waiver has been agreed in advance.

Data management plan

  • A data management plan (DMP) is required by all applicants at the funding application stage. If data sharing is not possible, you must present a strong argument to justify your case.
  • A statement on data sharing must be included in the relevant section of the Je-S application form.
  • Within the DMP, barriers to data sharing - along with any measures you plan to take to overcome them - should be identified.
  • For sensitive data explicit mention of consentanonymisation and potential access restrictions (see ESRC Framework for Research Ethics) should be made in the DMP.

For more details, check the ESRC guidance on data management plans. ESRC also provide detailed guidance for reviewers, including for the assessment of DMPs submitted with ESRC grant applications.

You can write your data management plan by using a template for the ESRC data management plan provided by DMPonline, an online tool that provides funders' templates and guidance. We can help you writing your plan or simply review it before submission; please, allow enough time for consultation.

If you receive an excellent overall assessment for your data management plan, we would appreciate if you could share it with the Research Data Management team as a good example of an ESRC Plan for use within the University. We will fully acknowledge your permission to share, and access will be restricted to University users.


Research data management costs

  • As with all UKRI Research Councils, all costs associated with research data management are eligible expenditure of research grant funds.
  • ESRC will provide appropriate funding for data management where the costs of implementation have been included in the DMP.

More information on costing Research Data Management can be found in the section on costing of research data.


Support

We can help you understand and meet the ESRC requirements on research data, from writing the DMP to sharing your data. Simply contact us at any time, or come and see us during our open office hours, every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.    


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