Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Research Data

Do I need to upload all my research data from my research project?

No, you need to go through an appraisal and selection process in order to make a decision on what data to keep. There will be a number of factors which can influence your decision on whether to retain or dispose of your data once your research project has ended.

This includes making decision on which data do you need to keep; which data do you wish to keep; which data shouldn’t be kept or isn’t worth keeping; what are the retention periods from my funder, the university, and any legal or regulatory requirements.

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has some useful guidance ‘Five steps to decide what data to keep’.

Consider what underpins the main findings of your project or your publication. Obviously some data cannot be shared as it contains sensitive information or due to IPR (patents pending, commercial partners, etc.). There are mechanisms available such as embargo for data or for data and associated metadata, please contact researchdata@le.ac.uk for consultation.

I have 1000TB of data, can you accommodate this for me?

At the moment there is 5TB research data storage assigned per college (48 TB for the institution). This is a small storage quota for some subject disciplines, however the service and storage we offer is free for our research community and the general advice is to look first for funder or discipline/domain specific repositories.

The institutional Figshare data repository is for ‘orphaned’ data which has no disciplinary data centre/repository available. Also if you think that you will end up with petabytes of data at the funding application stage, you may rethink if you are using the appropriate format of the data and if all of this data will be included in the final dataset.

The storage provided in UoL Figshare is contracted out to a UK based digital archiving company called Arkivum.  The contractor is ISO 27001 certified and provides guaranteed data integrity and security for 25 years. The Arkivum service can safely store all types of data and data deposited in UoL Figshare is encrypted and stored off-site in the contractor’s data centres and a further copy is held on tape in escrow.

I used an existing NHS dataset with sensitive information as basis for my research, do I need to make those available?

No, you need to make available the data underpinning your research that you built on the data received from NHS. Besides the data you requested is already stored and preserved by NHS data service provider.

Why should I choose institutional data repository over the free alternatives?

If there is no available suitable discipline specific or funder preferred repository, the institutional repository should be considered. The University of Leicester procured and installed Arkivum as the storage solution and Figshare as discovery layer. Each deposit will receive persistent identifier (DOI), metadata is checked and the University will store and preserve the data for 10 years. The Library Research services team also offers guidance and help with depositing and managing your data deposit.

Is it compulsory to deposit data in my institutional repository?

The increasing expectations from most funders and publishers is to make data available as soon as possible after the project end/publication. Some funders/publishers will have a preference where to deposit your data. If you have deposited your data in a suitable trustworthy disciplinary repository there is no need to deposit it again in the institutional Figshare instance.

Will the new institutional data repository change the way I upload my publications?

No. IRIS is a separate system to both publication and data repository. The way you upload your publications will not change, you still will need to upload your publications via IRIS to LRA.

Will you peer-review and check my data for sensitive information?

No. We only do a ‘light touch’ curation of the data, mainly focusing on the metadata and appropriate file formats used. Please refer to the pre-deposit checklist section of the user guide to learn about steps to consider before depositing items in Figshare.

Do I own data generated during my project?

In line with UK legislation, the University owns all intellectual property or other materials developed by its employees, unless explicitly stated otherwise. (source: Research Code of Conduct point 4.2.1., page 11).

Should I upload my data through IRIS?

No. For research data please deposit your data outputs via the Figshare interface. Please see the guide to Figshare for data at the University of Leicester.

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