Research Data Management Policy



Research Data Management Policy

The University of Wolverhampton is committed to excellence throughout the entire research lifecycle, recognising that good research is underpinned and validated by good data and that sharing data can enhance the integrity of research. The University also recognises that sharing research data appropriately can contribute to the impact of research, and therefore advocates an open approach to research data wherever possible, whilst recognising that access will need to be balanced with constraints around security, confidentiality and commercial interests. This Policy has been approved by the University’s Executive Board. It is the University’s expectation that research data is managed in accordance with the best practice principles outlined by funders, advisory bodies and research councils, whilst retaining legal and ethical compliance.


The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • Provide a strategic framework for the management of data generated by research projects to ensure that data is managed to the highest standards.
  • Establish responsibilities for the management of research

The objectives of this policy are to ensure that research data is managed in accordance with the best practice principles outlined by funders, advisory bodies and research councils, whilst retaining legal and ethical compliance.

The implementation of this policy is in accordance with the UK Research Integrity Office and the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity ethical values which are:

  • Excellence
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Cooperation
  • Accountability
  • Training and Skills
  • Care, Safety and Respect

This policy applies across all research disciplines and to all research active members of staff affiliated with the University of Wolverhampton involved in conducting research or the creation, collection, or generation of research data. It applies to postgraduate research students, but excludes taught postgraduate students and undergraduates.

This policy encompasses all research data that underpins published outputs, regardless of whether or not the research is funded.

Research data are defined as any recorded information necessary to support or validate a research project’s observations, findings or outputs, regardless of format. This includes, but is not limited to, results of experiments/simulations, statistics and measurements, models and software, observations, survey results, interview transcripts and recordings, images, textual source materials and annotations, physical artefacts and samples.

Research data management is the effective handling of information that is created in the course of research. Data management covers all aspects of handling, organising, documenting and enhancing research data, and enabling their sustainability and sharing.

Research data life-cycle refers to the lifespan of data that may be longer than the research project that creates them. Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyse or add to the data, and data may be re-used by other researchers.

The research data life-cycle refers to the stages of:

  • Planning research
  • Collecting data
  • Processing and analysing data
  • Publishing and sharing data
  • Preserving data
  • Re-using

Storing research data means ensuring your data are safe. This is crucial to any research project. A good storage and backup strategy will help prevent potential data loss.

Research Data backup refers to making backup copies of files which ensures that original data files can be restored, should originals get damaged or go missing due to:

  • Hardware faults or failure
  • Software or media faults
  • Virus infection or malicious hacking
  • Power failure
  • Human errors caused by changing or deleting


6.1 The Senior Lead for Research Integrity is responsible for institutional compliance with this

6.2 The University Research Committee is responsible for the development of research data strategy and policy.

6.3 The Directorate of Students and Education is responsible for developing the services necessary to implement this policy.

6.4 Heads of Departments/Schools and others responsible for research staff and students are responsible for ensuring that researchers in their areas are aware of and follow the University’s policy and procedures regarding research data (Research Policies, Procedures & Guidelines - University of Wolverhampton (

6.5 During the lifetime of a project, the Principal Investigator is responsible for research data management in compliance with this policy.

6.6 All researchers are expected to familiarise themselves with and act in accordance with this policy, and comply with all legal, ethical, funding body and organisational requirements for the collection, use and storage of data, especially personal data, where particular attention should be paid to the requirements of data protection legislation.

6.7 The University is responsible for:

  1. Providing access to services and facilities for the storage, backup, deposit and retention of research data and records that allow researchers to meet their requirements under this policy and those of the funders of their research.
  2. Providing researchers with access to training, support and advice in research data management.

7.1 Research data must be managed to the highest standards throughout the research data lifecycle as part of the University’s commitment to research excellence.

7.2 The Principal Investigator on a grant application or research project is ultimately responsible for research data management, regardless of whether they are the most senior academic on the project team. Sole researchers or research students are considered Principal Investigators for individual projects.

7.3 The Principal Investigator for each research project or programme is responsible for the creation of an appropriate research data management plan, and for ensuring that all members of the research team are aware of, understand and abide by the plan (for guidance and support on data management plans please see link: management/).

7.4 Data management plans should be created for each proposed research project in line with the funder's specific requirements, or if no requirements are specified by the funder, then the Principal Investigator should contact the Scholarly Communications Team ( for advice where necessary.

7.5 Once the project is approved the data management plan should be updated and explicitly address the capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, storage, preservation, sharing and publication of research data. Data management plans should take account of and ensure compliance with relevant legislative frameworks which may limit public access to the data (for example, in the areas of data protection, intellectual property and human rights).

7.6 Active research data should be backed up regularly, and stored securely on the networked file store provided by the Principal Investigators should ensure that access is not limited to a single person, to ensure that access is not lost if that person leaves the project.

7.7 When research data needs to be shared across multi-institutional teams, Digital Services must be consulted for advice on appropriate shared and cloud-based storage.

7.8 Data should be classified, stored and processed in accordance with the University’s Data Protection Policy and Data Classification Policy. Classification of data will inform the methods of storage and security to be applied (policies can be located here: WLV Policies - University of Wolverhampton).

7.9 Research data must be:

  • Accurate, complete, authentic and reliable,
  • Identifiable, retrievable, and available when needed,
  • Secure and safe with appropriate measures taken in handling sensitive, classified and confidential data,
  • Kept in a manner that is compliant with legal obligations, University policy and, where applicable, the requirements of funding bodies,
  • Preserved for its life-cycle with the appropriate high-quality metadata,
  • Able to be made available to others in line with appropriate ethical, data sharing and open data principles.

7.10 After completion of the research, unless restricted by legal, ethical or commercial considerations, research data should be made accessible in a timely manner by depositing in either a funder mandated repository, an appropriate national or international data service or a discipline specific repository, which should enable open access to data and assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

7.11 The University of Wolverhampton strongly recommends use of ORCiD identifiers throughout the research lifecycle; therefore, all data deposits should be accompanied by ORCiD identifiers for the creators of the data where available (ORCID - University of Wolverhampton (

7.12 Published papers should include a statement describing how, and on what terms, supporting research data may be accessed.

7.13 Primary data should be preserved in an appropriate, non-proprietary format and storage facility for a minimum of 10 years, unless funders specify preservation periods that exceed It should be kept in a form that would enable retrieval by a third party, subject to limitations imposed by legislation and general principles of confidentiality.

7.14 If research data is to be deleted or destroyed, either because its agreed period of retention has expired or for legal or ethical reasons, it should be done so in accordance with all legal, ethical, research funder and organisational requirements and with particular concern for confidentiality and security.

7.15 Members of staff are required to inform their line manager the Data Protection Officer, their faculty/department Information Asset Owner and Digital Services at the earliest opportunity of the compromise or loss of a device or data which contains or may contain classified data. Data breaches, actual or potential, must be reported immediately after discovery to the Information Governance Team in line with University’s Data Breach Incident Policy.

7.16 The interests of human participants of research must be protected during all stages of the data lifecycle. Informed consent must be given for the collection of personal data.

7.17 Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be transferred to commercial publishers or agents without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding.

There are no exceptions to this policy.

This Policy was approved by the University’s Executive Board on 28 March 2023. The University may change this Policy at any time, and where appropriate. Where a policy is not due for review, but is found to require updating, it will remain published, unless the reasons for review render it obsolete.

For general queries regarding Research Policies, Procedures and guidelines contact Jill Morgan, Research Integrity Manager, by email:

For general policy queries, please contact the University Corporate Compliance Team via email:




Stuart Bentley, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Luke Fowler, Content, Digital and Research Support Manager (Authors)

University Library (Owner)


Approved Date


28 March 2023


Approved By

University Executive Board


Review Date


28 March 2026