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BBSRC data sharing requirements

To easily guide you through BBSRC expectations for sharing research data, we have prepared a simple list of key highlights of the BBSRC's data sharing policy.

Key highlights of BBSRC expectations for sharing research data:

Publicly-funded research data should be shared

BBSRC supports the following principles on research data sharing:

  • publicly-funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest;
  • publicly-funded research data should be openly available to the maximum extent possible.

Therefore, the BBSRC expects research data generated as a result of BBSRC support to be made available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.

Research data should be shared no later than at the time of publication

BBSRC expects that research data underpinning publications are released no later than at the time of publication. If research data do not support a publication, it is expected that they will be released within three years of the date of data generation.

BBSRC allows embargo periods, if these are accepted within disciplinary norms. For example, in crystallography the community has agreed a maximum 12-month delay between publishing the first paper on a structure and making coordinates public for secondary use; Arabidopsis microarray data (NASC Affymetrix service) makes all data available after a maximum one-year confidential period.

Data needs to be stored in a data repository for at least 10 years

BBSRC expects research data to be stored in a data repository. Research data shall be cited in the manuscript and in other places where data is referred to, with use of a persistent link leading to the repository record, where the data is stored. The BBSRC expects research data to be securely stored for at least 10 years from the end of the grant.

The University of Cambridge provides guidance on available repositories here. If you would like to share your data via the University of Cambridge data repository, simply click on the button below.

Button to submit your data


Exemptions from data sharing

You might use an exemption from sharing if your data are commercially valuable/ patentable, but you are expected to have explained this in your data management plan in your grant application.

Funding for research data management and data sharing

The BBSRC expects researchers to budget for the costs of research data management and data sharing in their grant proposals. The BBSRC can cover all justified aspects of research data management and sharing, and this might include:

  • staffing - if you need to hire a dedicated person to help you with management of your research data (it might be particularly relevant for collaborative, data-intense projects);
  • physical resources, for example:
    • storage for your data, backup systems;
    • data sharing; for example, sharing research data via the University of Cambridge data repository is £4/GB (a one off-charge).

Data management plans - compulsory in all grant applications

Data Management Plans are now a compulsory part of all grant applications to the BBSRC. Data management plan specifications:

  • maximum length: 1 page;
  • scope: to ensure that data will be managed and shared in accordance with the BBSRC data sharing policy, or to provide an explanation why data cannot be shared.

The University of Cambridge prepared a guidance template for a BBSRC's data management plan, and you can download it here.

If you would like some guidance/advice with preparing your data management plan, please e-mail us and we will do our best to help.

Sanctions for non-compliance

Adherence to data management plan will be monitored by the BBSRC and built into the Final Report score, which may be taken into account for future proposals.

Additonal questions

The BBSRC has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If your questions is not addressed there, please browse through a list of frequently asked questions prepared by the University of Cambridge. All answers have been validated by Ben Ryan from the Engineering and Physcial Sciences Research Council.

If your question is not answered anywhere, please e-mail us, and we will do our best to help.

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