Concordat on Open Research Data

The Concordat was developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group to provide expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community. The four original signatories; the former HEFCE, UKRI (the former RCUK), Universities UK and the Wellcome Trust are strongly committed to opening up research data for scrutiny and reuse, to enable high-quality research, drive innovation and increase public trust in research.

The Concordat on Open Research Data (PDF, 178KB) recognises that research data should wherever possible be made openly available for use by others in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the cost involved.

Concordat on Open Research DataThe concordat will:

"help to ensure that research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible; in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved."

The ten principles:

Principle #1: Open access to research data is an enabler of high quality research, a facilitator of innovation and safeguards good research practice.

Principle #2: There are sound reasons why the openness of research data may need to be restricted but any restrictions must be justified and justifiable.

Princicple #3: Open access to research data carries a significant cost, which should be respected by all parties.

Principle #4: The right of the creators of research data to reasonable first use is recognised.

Principle #5: Use of others’ data should always conform to legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks including appropriate acknowledgement.

Principle #6: Good data management is fundamental to all stages of the research process and should be established at the outset.

Principle #7: Data curation is vital to make data useful for others and for long-term preservation of data

Principle #8: Data supporting publications should be accessible by the publication date and should be in a citeable form.

Principle #9: Support for the development of appropriate data skills is recognised as a responsibility for all stakeholders.

Principle #10: Regular reviews of progress towards open research data should be undertaken.

Existing principles and expectations

The Concordat builds on existing guidelines and policies in this area, including those from the signatories and working group. Examples include RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy and Guidance on best practice in the management of research data and the EPSRC policy framework on research data.