All research projects create or utilise data, which are necessary to support or validate findings, observations and outputs. Naturally, data will vary in types across disciplines, and techniques will differ in how they are collected. The management of research data (regardless of the form or the media in which they exist in), is essential for good research practice, ensuring that data are organised, preserved and in the long-term, reusable.
Coventry University recognises that good research data management is fundamental to high quality research and academic integrity. These LibGuides pages provide guidance and tools to support the management, re-use and preservation of research data.
Research Data Lifecycle. Highlights the different stages that research data may encounter in a project, and indicates systems and services that are required to support data management.
©Jisc and Bonner McHardy (page last updated 2/10/17)
Many funding bodies require that their funding recipients create and follow plans for managing data, storing or preserving it in the long term, and sharing some, or all data products with the public. The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has provided a convenient Overview of Individual Funders' Data Policies.
Individual councils and other funding agencies vary in the degree of planning and explanation they expect at the bidding stage, but some, for example the Wellcome Trust, have very strong expectations:
"All those seeking Wellcome Trust funding should consider their approach for managing and sharing data at the research proposal stage. In cases where the proposed research is likely to generate data outputs that will hold significant value as a resource for the wider research community, applicants will be required to submit a data management and sharing plan to the Wellcome Trust prior to an award bring made". (Policy on data management and sharing)
Even where such demands are not made, it is likely that funders will respond more positively to applications which have clear plans for managing, preserving and sharing their data.
The steps you apply to manage your data are also likely to affect the costing of your project. As well as the cost of staff and other resources, it is necessary to think about what your short and long-term storage and back-up requirements will be, for the safekeeping of the data you create during your research work. There are likely to be both funder, and institutional requirements related to this.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) (e.g. copyright, patents, etc) affect the way both you and others can use your research outputs.
Failure to clarify rights at the start of the research process can lead to unexpected limitations to:
It can also cause you legal trouble.
Further information on IPR can be found on the University's IPR webpages
Frequently Asked Questions
Are research data or data derivatives protected by copyright law?
Copyright law sometimes protects data and other research products (provided that you share them with the proper copyright statement or end-user agreement), but it depends on the nature of your data or files.
The University has a Copyright webpage, which provides information and contacts for who to consult on copyright questions in various situations (e.g. research grants and funding, commercialisation and intellectual property, etc).
A seminar was held in 2011 (hosted by CRASHH and the Incremental Project). Andrew Charlesworth (Centre for IT & Law, University of Bristol) gave a presentation that addressed some copyright issues:
'Intellectual Property Rights and Research Data - Focus on copyright' [32 mins 6 secs].
He also participated in a short interview on the same subject [2 mins 34 secs].
What are my intellectual property rights with regard to research data at Coventry University?
This depends on whether you are a student, post-doc, PI/project director, your relationship with the University, your role in the project, and your agreement with other parties (funders, study participants, corporate partners, etc). Advice can be sought via the University's webpages and by contacting colleagues listed below, under the 'Who can help me with Copyright and IPR?' question.
Can I use materials that I find online?
It depends on how those materials are licensed. IPR is usually in play, even if you don't see a "©" or 'all rights reserved' notice. When in doubt, contact the University Copyright Officer (contact information in FAQ below) for advice, or ask the website administrator or publisher who distributed the content for permission directly.
The Web2Rights project has produced a useful IPR & Legal Issues Toolkit for the web.
How can I make it easier for others to re-use the materials that I produce?
One relatively simple way to make it easier for others to re-use tools, data, or other content that you produce is to add a Creative Commons license.
For example ‘By-Attribution, Non-Commercial’ is a common Creative Commons license – when you mark your file, image, or information with this, it means that anyone can use your information in any way they like, so long as they attribute it to you and don’t use it for commercial purposes. Creative Commons licenses are often used for materials released online, but you can also include these in printed materials if you don't have a publisher who owns the rights. For additional information and Creative Commons license options, visit the www.creativecommons.org.
To license something with a Creative Commons license, you don't need to file any paperwork -- just publish (in print or on the web) your materials along with a notification that you are using a particular license.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Creative Commons licenses are 'irrevocable' so don't add a Creative Commons license unless you are sure that (1) you have the right to publish this information, and (2) you won't want to re-voke it later on for any reason.
Who can help me with Copyright and IPR?
For information on Copyright, please contact:
University Librarian and Group Director of Learning Resources, LIB
Telephone: 024 7688 7519
For general questions on IPR or to discuss Intellectual Property Disclosure Forms, contact:
Business Development Support Office
Mobile: 07974 98 4387
Director of IP Services
Mobile: 07974 98 4928
For questions touching on commercialisation, contact:
IPR Commercialisation Manager
Mobile: 07557 42 5047
What rights do other people have to request my work - i.e. Freedom of Information Act (FOI)?
The Freedom of Information Act of 2000 (FOIA) gives all members of the public the right to request any information produced with public money, but there are some exemptions.
For information about FOI at Coventry, see the CU FOI page.
Web2Rights IPR & Legal Issues Toolkit Information on intellectually property rights pertaining to Web 2.0 internet resources.
Alex Ball has created a presentation for the Digital Curation Centre/University of Bath on Derestricting Datasets: How to License Research Data
As members of a publicly-funded university, you may receive requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
Once the University has received an information request, it has 20 working days to respond to an FOI request and up to 40 for an EIR request. Both FOI and EIR include a number of exemptions and exceptions respectively against disclosure. This is because the legislation recognised that not all official information ought to be disclosed. For example to protect information such as confidential, sensitive data or personal information. If you are unsure about disclosure, consult the University's FOI officer email@example.com.
Article Processing Charge (APC) - Fee which may be payable to the publisher to publish via the gold open access route. When an article is published in a traditional subscription journal, the author pays an APC to make their individual article freely available from the journal website, without restriction or charge to the reader.
CC-BY Licence - Creative Commons Attribution Licence. This is the most liberal of the CC licences. As long as the original author(s) receives attribution, this allows anyone to copy, distribute or transmit the research, adapt the research and make commercial use of the research. RCUK requires this licence is used if the gold open access route is selected. The Wellcome Trust encourage its use, and will cover the costs of any APC where an article is published under this licence.
Corresponding Authors - The author responsible for manuscript correction, correspondence during submission, handling of revisions and re-submission of the revised manuscript. On acceptance of the manuscript, the corresponding author is responsible for co-ordinating any application for payment of a Gold Open Access Article Processing Charge (APC).
Creative Commons Licences - Creative Commons licences can be used in open access publishing to help authors retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of their work. There are several different Creative Commons licences, which allow different types of re-use. See the Creative Commons website.
Curve open - CURVE Open is the University's repository for educational resources and open access items other than research publications. The aim of this open access institutional repository is to showcase University research and teaching, increasing accessibility to, and raising the visibility of our authors work.
Open Access - Open access is the practice of providing free, unlimited online access to scholarly works and research outputs in a digital format, with limited restrictions on re-use. A key driver behind OA has been to make publicly-funded research accessible to tax-payers.
FL320, Lanchester Library
Frederick Lanchester Building
Coventry, United Kingdom
Open Access and Pure Deposits - firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Data Management - email@example.com
024 7765 7568
We hold regular drop-ins at all of our Research Centres. To find the next one, please see the full calendar of our drop-ins.