Developing a data management and sharing plan

We expect the researchers we fund to make their research data available with as few restrictions as possible. 

These guidelines are an overview of things to consider as you develop your data management and sharing plan.

When a plan is required

A data management and sharing plan is required when the data outputs from your proposed research are likely to be of value to other researchers and users.

This includes:

You will need to provide a data sharing plan if you apply to our Biomedical Science, Innovations and Humanities and Social Science funding schemes.

Types of data a plan covers

Examples of applications that require a data management and sharing plan

  • large-scale genetic association and sequencing studies of common diseases
  • genome-wide or large-scale functional genomic studies in a specific organism
  • longitudinal studies of patient and population cohorts
  • large-scale neuro-imaging studies.

The plan covers data that might form ’community resources‘, as defined by the Fort Lauderdale Principles [PDF 34KB] and the Toronto statement

As noted in the Toronto statement, community resources will typically have the following attributes:

Read our policy on data management and sharing for more information.

When a plan is not required

A data management and sharing plan is not usually required for studies that generate small-scale and limited data outputs. 

These studies are expected to make data available to other researchers on publication and, where possible, to deposit it in a recognised community repository. 

You don’t need to supply a data sharing plan if you apply to our Public Engagement schemes, but if we fund your research we expect you to make outputs of wider value available to potential users in a timely and appropriate manner.

What to include in your plan

There is no set template for your plan. It should be clear and concise. Don’t repeat the methodological detail included elsewhere in your grant application. 

Your plan should be proportionate to the scale of the datasets generated and their likely level of value to the research community.

Your plan should focus specifically on how data outputs will be managed and shared. Timely publication of results in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at conferences are key forms of dissemination but they’re not equivalent to data sharing and don’t constitute a data management and sharing plan.

Your data sharing plan should address the following:

More information

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