RDM - Frequently asked questions

This is an overview of the most frequently asked questions around Research Data Management and data sharing. Should you not find a question or answer here, please contact research-data@contacts.bham.ac.uk for help.

Does sharing data really improve impact?

There are several good reasons to work reproducibly and share research data as are outlined in this opinion piece by Markowetz (2015). One of the key incentives is that papers whose underlying data are openly available gain more citations. (Piwowar, Day & Fridsma, 2007; Piwowar & Vision, 2013)

I'm a PhD student. What do I need to do?

The University of Birmingham asks PGRs to follow the institutional research data management policy. It is now mandatory to create a data management plan. This will be monitored via the annual progress review, however there is no requirement to submit the data management plan centrally for review.

If you are funded by a research council, you should check your funder policy requirements in addition. 

If there are PGRs working on my research project, who owns the data they are producing?

This is dependent on where funding originates from. Students own the data unless the research contract states otherwise. If in doubt, contact Legal Services.

What sort of data should be shared?

Most funder and journal policies ask as a minimum for data supporting the results in publications to be available. 

In some cases, sharing the raw data as well as code or software used for data analysis and processing will be most impactful.

Does the University offer any cloud, storage or archiving solutions? Are there any costs involved?

Cloud, storage and archiving solutions are provided by IT Services and Library Services.

  • Researchers can use the Microsoft 365 tools Teams and OneDrive to collaborate internally and externally.   
  • The Research Data Store (RDS) is a central storage service for ‘active’ research data. It is highly resilient and is hosted in two data centres on campus. Space on the RDS is allocated to projects and managed accordingly. Applications should be submitted by Principal investigators (PIs) via the Service Desk. Once approved, up to 3TB of storage will be allocated by default to the Project though additional capacity may be purchased. More details on how to request access to the RDS can be found on the IT RDS pages.
  • The BEAR Archive can be used for long term storage of large datasets. 
  • The UBIRA eData Repository a service for the storage of data associated with publications for the purposes of satisfying open data requirements.

What opportunities are there to get training in Research Data Management?

Library Service's Research Skills team offer online training via their self-enrol RDM canvas course

Also, every week, Library Services offer RDM drop-in sessions for researchers who have queries or want to learn more about Research Data Management.

IT Services host regular data drop-in sessions where you can learn more about the services they offer.


Professional Services