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Guidelines on Data Retention for EPSRC-funded Research Projects

All projects in receipt of EPSRC funding are required by the Council to comply with the requirements below.  All current and future researchers and research students funded by EPSRC are affected by the research data policy.

EPSRC-funded research data must be securely preserved for a minimum of 10 years.


  • Not all data needs to be preserved and not all data needs to be stored online.  Appraise and select data for retention carefully.
  • Deposit essential data in the University repository, ORE.  Essential data would normally cover:
    • Data underlying published research
    • Data required for validation, verification or replication of results
    • Data that is unique or significant to the community
  • If not suitable for open access data can be embargoed in ORE or held securely by the researcher/research group.
  • Data not held centrally in ORE should be stored following the guidelines available on the Library’s Research Data Management web pages.
  • Data should be uploaded via the ORE interface rather than via Symplectic.  NB.  The IT Infrastructure Team has developed a new data upload tool for transfer of large datasets to ORE.  In order to use this pilot tool contact  

Appropriately structured metadata (bibliographic information) describing the research data should be published on open access within 12 months of being generated.


  • Create a record in ORE describing your data and, where possible, upload the data itself.
  • If data cannot be made public a metadata-only record is acceptable but must contain details of the reasons for access restrictions, for example:
    • Commercially confidential
    • Contains sensitive personal information
    • Contains other information covered by the Data Protection Act
    • Contains third-party copyrighted or licensed material for which permission cannot be obtained
  • Metadata must be sufficient to allow others to find it by searching and to understand dataset contents and potential for re-use.  See an excellent example of a dataset record from the Marine Renewable Energy Group.

 Research data in non-digital format should be stored for the long-term in a format permitting access and re-use if required.


  • Follow University guidelines for storage of paper records.
  • Data containing confidential information should be kept in an access-controlled environment.
  • Consider digitisation of analogue data if feasible and legally permissible.

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


  • If you have already deposited your data in ORE include the handle (aka persistent identifier – equivalent to a DOI).  For example, http://hdl.handle.net/10871/682
  • If the data cannot be made openly available include contact details of the main author/PI in case of query.
  • Further advice can be found on the Library’s open access web pages.


The Open Access and Data Curation Team can advise and assist with queries relating to compliance with EPSRC policy, data storage, data upload and dataset description.  Contact us on


ORE Repository

EPSRC Policy Framework on Research Data

The Library’s Research Data Management web site

Exeter’s Information Security Policy

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