Publishing your research findings


Making your research data open

Making your data as open as possible means that publicly funded research is more:

  • transparent and easily scrutinised, helping to increase public trust
  • easy to re-use and build upon
  • collaborative and efficient.

There may be reasons to restrict access to your research data, for example for security, confidentiality or commercial reasons.

But usually we expect you to make your data as open as possible and only closed when necessary.

Our research data policies

As a UKRI award holder you must follow our research data policies. You are also expected to follow good research data management practices throughout your project.

Ownership of the data generated from the research funded by UKRI or our councils resides with the researchers or their institutions. They should maintain and manage copyright and intellectual property ownership of data so that underlying research materials remain as open as possible.

Each research council has its own data and sharing and management policies and guidance, which you must follow:

Common principles on research data

To bring these policies together and help you understand our expectations of you, we have also established a set of seven common principles.

They apply to all research funding opportunities.

  1. Publicly funded research data are a public good and produced in the public interest. They should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.
  2. Any organisational and project-specific data management policies and plans you develop should align with wider best practice and standards. For example, data that has acknowledged long-term value should be preserved to remain accessible and usable for future research.
  3. You should record and make metadata available and discoverable to other researchers in a way that helps them to understand the research and reuse potential of the data. Published results should always include information about how to access the supporting data.
  4. To comply with all legal, ethical, disciplinary and commercial requirements for the release of research data, you must make sure that the policies and practices of your research organisation consider these constraints at all stages of the research process.
  5. To make sure you get appropriate recognition, you may be entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data you have collected and analysed to publish the results of your research. The length of time depends on the research discipline and the research council running the funding opportunity.
  6. To recognise the intellectual contributions of researchers who generate, preserve and share key research datasets, for any research data you use you should acknowledge the source and follow the terms and conditions under which you accessed the data.
  7. We believe it is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly funded research data. To maximise the research benefit, your mechanisms for these activities should be both efficient and cost effective. As such, all costs associated with research data management are eligible under UKRI funding. Certain conditions apply, for example, expenditure must be incurred before the end date of the grant.

Find additional guidance, including eligible costs, in our guidance for best practice in the management of research data.

Find more information, including the Concordat on Open Research Data, in the open research resources in the UKRI good research resources hub.

Last updated: 12 May 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback.