University of Reading Research Data Archive

Collection Policy

Eligible content

Items that fall within the definition of a Dataset are eligible for inclusion in the Archive.

A Dataset is defined as a set of files or a database constituting a discrete and clearly defined set of data and/or the means of generating data related to a research activity or project, or supporting one or more research publications. It may include both data and the means to generate, interpret or validate data, such as computer models and software code. A Dataset will include data files (including, where relevant, program files) and documentation, such as administrative materials, codebooks, user manuals, workflows, protocols, methodologies, etc.

Metadata Records and Datasets may be registered and deposited in the Archive if the data contained in the Dataset arise from research undertaken at the University by employees of the University or registered research students, and one of the following conditions apply:

Published research findings include both primary, peer-reviewed research publications, such as articles and conference papers, and other publicly-available outputs, such as theses and dissertations that have been electronically distributed.

Policy application

Data offered to the Archive must be within scope of the Collection Policy and of sufficient substance and value to merit inclusion in the Archive. Data will be assessed against the Archive's Data Selection and Appraisal Checklist, and if judged to be ineligible, trivial, of poor quality or without practical re-use value may be rejected.

Where a policy, legal or contractual requirement to preserve and share data applies, data collected or created by members of the University will be eligible for deposit in the Archive. Where there is no policy requirement for the data to be preserved and shared, the decision on whether to accept a Dataset submitted for deposit will rest with the Research Data Manager. While every effort will be made to accommodate eligible research data in the Archive, there is no guarantee that all submitted Datasets will be accepted.

Where more suitable external services exist for the preservation and sharing of research data, such as funder-maintained data centres or trustworthy disciplinary data services, Users may be directed to offer their Datasets to these. For more information, see guidance on choosing a data repository on the Research Data Management website.

A Dataset submitted to the Archive will also be assessed against the minimum acceptance criteria for a Dataset specified in the Submission Policy, and may be rejected if it fails to meet these criteria.

Policy management

The Collection Policy is managed by the Research Data Manager. Archive Administrators are authorised to apply the Policy.

The Research Data Manager and Archive Administrators will determine whether Datasets submitted to the Archive for deposit are in scope of the Collection Policy.

Any prospective Depositor who is unsure whether a Dataset submission will be eligible for admission to the Archive should contact for advice.