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.

Do IT Services offer any cloud, storage or archiving solutions? Are there any costs involved?

ITS offer a dropbox type solution (Bear Data Share) and storage for working data (Research Data Store). 

  • Research Data Store (RDS): The 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.
  • BEAR DataShare: BEAR DataShare is a file synchronisation and sharing service provided by IT Services. The service allows you to securely save and sync your files with your colleagues and partners anywhere in the world, from any device. It provides 25GB storage capacity per user. It can be requested through the IT Service Desk (Click the ‘Make a Request' icon and choose "Request a BEAR Datashare").

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

Library Service's Research Skills team offer regular sessions on Research Data Management:

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

There is also a self-registration Canvas course available to undertake at your own speed.