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Research Data Policy – Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University recognises its obligation to manage the data generated by research in an ethical, secure and responsible manner.


Bath Spa University is committed to the principle that research data is a public good and that, wherever possible, it should be made freely available online for the benefit of the academic community and wider society. Open data has been shown to increase citation rates for associated research publications. 

The University recognises its obligation to manage the data generated by research in an ethical, secure and responsible manner. The University will provide governance, training, and technical solutions to support compliance with these standards. 


Research data is, for the purposes of this policy, defined as anything captured, collected or created in the process of scholarly investigation that leads towards a final research finding or output. Data includes, but is not limited to, sound files, images, sketchbooks, lab books, performances, or text files. 

The policy applies primarily to externally-funded research, although it is expected that all research data will be treated with integrity. Requests for access to unpublished data will be handled on a case by case basis by the Research Support Office. 

BathSPAdata is the institutional repository for the storage and dissemination of research data, as defined in this Policy. A separate institutional repository, ResearchSPAce, is available for “final” (published, performed, or exhibited) scholarly research outputs.

This Policy operates in conjunction with the University policies and procedures in relation to research integrity, ethics, and information governance.


  1. The University affirms its commitment to managing research data with in accordance with funder policies and the best practice requirements of the Higher Education sector. The University complies with the UKRI’s common principles on data policy and supports the principles of the UK Concordat on Open Research Data. Research England also requires the University to submit an annual statement to the Board of Governors confirming that it complies with the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity
  2. The Principal Investigator for each research project is responsible for the management of data on that project.
  3. Researchers are responsible for making themselves familiar with any contractual or funder policies pursuant to their research projects. The Research Support Office will provide support with this on request.
  4. Data Management Plans must be developed, with the support of the Research Support Office, for all research projects that involve primary research methods and the collection of data in order to comply with current legislation (e.g. General Data Protection Regulation). See the example checklist for data management planning.
  5. Where possible researchers should seek to recover any costs associated with research data management from the funding body.
  6. Research data should be made openly available unless restrictions are necessary for legal compliance. Data should be stored in an accessible format that abides by all necessary and appropriate ethical considerations.
  7. Data availability statements, also known as data access statements, should be included in publications to describe where any associated data is available, and under what conditions it can be accessed. 
  8. The right of the creators of research data to reasonable first use is recognised, unless this right conflicts with other contractual agreements (e.g. funder mandates for open access). Any period of exclusive use should be proposed and approved via the Data Management Plan.
  9. Data storage is equitably allocated to individual researchers and projects. It may be possible to reassign unused storage to large data sets with prior agreement and due regard to ongoing costs. See Further Guidance below for contact details.
  10. The Research Support Office monitors the costs of data storage. It is neither practical nor cost-effective to make all data open for an unlimited amount of time. Retention periods should be proposed and approved via the Data Management Plan.  
  11. As a general guide, the University will endeavour to retain data for 10 years from the date of any publication which fundamentally relies on the data, or as mandated by a funder, or if the data supports any commercialised research. Where exceptionally large data sets need to be preserved, reasonable costs of data storage may be passed onto Schools or Projects.
  12. In addition to the licensing options within BathSPAdata (e.g. Creative Commons), data that is published through BathSPAdata is subject to a Research Data Deposit Licence. This is a ‘non-exclusive’ licence, which protects researchers’ rights to publish or re-use their data elsewhere.

Monitoring and Responsibilities

Responsibility for the quality assurance of research data curation lies with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise.

This policy will be revisited regularly to ensure it continues to meet the requirements of the Higher Education sector.

Further guidance

For further guidance about managing your data, please see the Research Support Office Sharepoint.

For additional enquiries, please contact the Research Support Librarians ( or the Research Support Office (

Date of last approval: December 2018

Last updated: February 2024

Date of next review: January 2029

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