University of Reading Research Data Archive

Data Policy


A Dataset is a set of files constituting a discrete set of data related to a single research activity or project, or supporting one or more research publications. A Dataset will include both data files and supporting documentation. A Dataset may include software code.

A Collection is a group of one or more Datasets. Large or multi-phase projects, or research that has given rise to multiple publications, might include several Datasets, which can be grouped together as Collections.

Datasets and Collections may be stored in the Archive, or held elsewhere. Digital Datasets may be held in other online data archives or repositories, or may be published by other means, for example as supplementary materials alongside a journal article. Non-digital Datasets may be stored in institutional archives or other storage services.

Each Dataset or Collection will have an associated Metadata Record.


Access to files within a Dataset may be controlled. Files deposited with the Archive may have the following access settings:

Open data files are made available under Creative Commons licenses. Open software files are made available under one of a variety of standard software licences. The default recommended license for data files is Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY).

Access to Restricted data files will be subject to authorisation by the rights-holder(s) and under such terms as are specified by the the rights-holder(s). Access to such files is granted on request by an Authorising Agent, who may be an Archive Administrator and/or other nominated individual.

Data can be held under embargo for up to 12 months after the date of deposit. After this date data files must be made available, unless there is good reason to continue withholding access to the data.

Each Dataset will include at least one documentation file, which should be openly available.

The level of access is specified by the Depositor when data files are uploaded to the Archive.


Data and software files made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution or standard Open Source licence can generally be:

provided that:

Additional restrictions may be specified in respect of commercial use and licensing of any materials derived from the data files, depending on the type of license used. Full details of these and other license options can be found at the Creative Commons and websites.

Restricted Access files may be made available under specific licence terms specified by the rights-holder(s). Where this is the case a licence file will be provided with the Dataset or terms of use will be supplied by the Authorising Agent when access to the data files is granted.

Dataset files may not be harvested from the Archive by robots.


Datasets deposited in the Archive will be retained indefinitely in accordance with the Archive Preservation Policy, unless the Archive is required to withdraw data in accordance with any applicable policies or in response to a proven complaint.