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University Research Data Management policy


The University's Research Data Management (RDM) policy was approved by Academic Council in June 2014.

As one of the leading research-intensive universities in the world, the University of St Andrews places high value on the research carried out under its aegis; whether produced solely within its academic schools, its centres/institutes or as result of research pooling. More information on the University's research activities can be found here.

This policy is complemented by related University policies and guidelines relevant to research, human resources, ethics, data protection and intellectual property.

Policy Statements

  1. The University is committed to excellence throughout its activities. These activities increasingly collect and produce raw and processed data, much of which is valuable and needs to be retained over the long term. This applies equally to Sciences ("data science") and Arts ("digital humanities").

  2. The scope of this policy extends to data of potential long-term value generated in the course of research, for example through underpinning publications or other research products.

  3. The purpose of data management is to maximise the academic value of research data by ensuring that such data is managed according to good practices for collection, curation, storage, management, retrieval, re-use, sharing, archiving, and access, appropriate for the data and discipline concerned, and thereby to ensure compliance with the requirements of funding agencies and other stakeholders.

  4. Principal Investigators should, in the course of formulating their research proposals, develop a management plan for the data to be collected. Such plans should include issues of confidentiality, retention, sharing, publication, and open access, and describe how the collection of data and metadata will be integrated into their everyday research processes so as to make compliance with the data management plan as simple as possible.

  5. Within its statutory and other requirements, the University seeks to leave as much control over the data lifecycle with the Principal Investigators concerned. Heads of School will provide oversight of data management within their Schools.

  6. Data will be deposited into an appropriate long-term archive. Such archives include national or international subject-specific archives, secure repositories for data with extreme confidentiality requirements, or a managed University repository.

  7. The University will maintain a central catalogue of metadata descriptions for indexing, archiving, naming, and retrieval of datasets and other objects, and will register the DOI or other stable name of all objects being managed to support uniform treatment.

  8. The University expects that all data will over time be made publicly available wherever possible consistent with any constraints necessary to meet funding requirements, statutory or ethical responsibilities.


The University intends that an evolutionary approach will be taken to implementing this policy and related initiatives over a number of years. The policy is owned by the Vice-Principal for Research