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Research Data Management

A guide to managing outputs of research projects and handling issues such as copyright and data protection laws

Planning a Project

Data management should be a process used to identify the resources that will be needed to run a project effectively:

  • What data management policies are you expected to comply with?
  • Will be creating new data, or analysing existing data?
  • If you are going to work with existing data, do you need permission to access and re-use or is it freely available under license?
  • Where will you store this data to make sure it is not lost or damaged?
  • Will you adopt record keeping or quality control standards?
  • Will you archive your data and share it with others at the end of the project?
  • Will data protection laws apply to your work?

To help with your planning, consider writing a data management plan document.

Research data policies for UCL staff and students

UCL has a policy on research data that explains how data should be managed and shared by staff and research students. The emphasis is on making data as openly available as possible, with caveats that commercially sensitive material or personal data protected by law should be kept safe. Read the full policy here:

If you are funded by a UK research council or other funding agency then you may also have to comply with the data management and sharing expectations of that organisation in addition to the UCL policy.