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  1. Data-intensive researchThe RCUK Data Policy Mark Thorley mrt@nerc.ac.uk

  2. Summary – my perspective • Why bother with data policies? • RCUK common principles. • Current position and policy revision. • Is data policy for ‘big science’ different?

  3. Research Councils UK £11.2B

  4. Research is essential to the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. Ensuring the widest possible access to research, both within and outside of the research community, will mean that the ground-breaking discoveries made in science and research can have a greater impact on our lives. Doug Kell, RCUK EG ‘Champion’ for Information,May 2011.

  5. Why Value Data / Data Policy? • Integral part of the research record.Access to the underlying data helps to support the robustness, integrity and transparency of the research record. • Reuse and repurposing – aka sharing.Enabling others to do new things with the data – and not just other researchers. • Policy framework to support twin aims.

  6. RCUK Policy on Open Access • Papers to include a statement on access to the underlying research materials. • Helps support the transparency, integrity and robustness of the research process. Science’s powerful capacity for self-correction comes from this openness to scrutiny and challenge. Science as an open enterprise Royal Society, June 2012.

  7. Growing openness • UK Government’s commitment to openness and transparency; • Make the results of publicly funded research open, accessible and exploitable; • Transparency and openness to drive innovation and growth. • Get the stuff out there and get it used!

  8. Which means …..? • Research outputs – including data must be accessible to enable scrutiny & exploitation. • Research funders have a responsibility to ensure accessibility. • Data management and access is part of the research process and has to be paid for. • Research institutions have a key role to play in the process.

  9. Overall Policy • Data generated through Research Council funded research should generally be accessible for review, reuse and repurposing (aka data sharing) – though protections and constraints are in place.RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/DataPolicy.aspx

  10. Common Principles • Data are a public good, to be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible. • Policies and plans, and long-term availability. • Metadata for discovery and reuse. • Protection from inappropriate release. • Recognition and ‘right of first use’. • Researchers to acknowledge data sources. • Appropriate to use public funds to manage.

  11. Current Position • Council specific policies with a continuum of responsibility – Institutional to PI. • Community feedback – is at best confusing! • Activity to harmonise policies – single RCUK policy with recognition of discipline specific differences. • Royal Society ‘open science’ recommendations.

  12. Data Policies for Big Science • Does ‘big’ or ‘data intensive’ science need different policies? • No – principles are the same. • Mechanisms and limits imposed by practicality require pragmatic application of policy: • Small science – heterogeneity problem; • Big science – size / compute / infrastructure problem.

  13. Further information • RCUK Common Principles on Data Policyhttp://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/DataPolicy.aspx • Royal Society Reporthttp://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/science-public-enterprise/report/ openaccess@rcuk.ac.uk

  14. Thank you for listeningQUESTIONS ?

  15. RCUK Key Principles • Accessibility to publicly-funded research; • Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable. • Rigorous quality assurance; • Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; • Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.

  16. RCUK Key Principles • Accessibility to publicly-funded research; • Rigorous quality assurance; • Published research outputs must be subject to rigorous quality assurance, through effective peer review mechanisms. • Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; • Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.

  17. RCUK Key Principles • Accessibility to publicly-funded research; • Rigorous quality assurance; • Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; • The models and mechanisms for publication and access to research results must be both efficient and cost-effective in the use of public funds. • Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs.

  18. RCUK Key Principles • Accessibility to publicly-funded research; • Rigorous quality assurance; • Efficient and cost-effective access mechanisms; • Long-term preservation and accessibility of outputs. • The outputs from current and future research must be preserved and remain accessible for future generations.