University of Reading Research Data Archive

Service Policy

Scope and purpose

The University of Reading Research Data Archive (the Archive) is a multidisciplinary online service for the registration, preservation and publication of research Datasets produced or collected at the University of Reading.

The Archive can be used by University of Reading research staff and research students to register, preserve and publish data supporting research undertaken at the University in accordance with the University's Research Data Management Policy and the policies of public research funders.

The primary purpose of the Archive is to enable discovery and re-use of research data. While access to some data held in the Archive may be restricted or subject to embargo for a fixed period, all data will be accessible under certain conditions.

Management and administration

The Archive is managed by the Research Data Manager, and administration is undertaken by Archive Administrators. Enquiries and support requests should be directed to

Relevant policies

Content will eligible for inclusion in the Archive in accordance with the Collection Policy.

Submissions to the Archive will be validated in accordance with the Submission Policy.

Data and Metadata Records will be managed in the Archive in accordance with the Data Policy and Metadata Policy.

Metadata Records and Datasets held in the Archive will be preserved in accordance with the Preservation Policy.


Users are defined as Registered Users (login required), Public Users, and Administrators.

Registered Users

Registered Users may be:

Registered Users are eligible to:

User registration

Members of University staff or registered students are automatically registered with the Archive through their University account and can log in at the Reading Users link on the Archive interface using their University username and password. By logging in to the service Users agree to the Terms and Conditions for Registered Users.

University visitors and associates will need to obtain a University account in order to register and deposit data.

Public Users

The Archive is open to members of the public.

Public Users may access and use Metadata Records and Datasets recorded and held in the Archive, subject to the terms and conditions of the Archive and any terms of access and use specific to individual Datasets and the data files they contain.

Access to some data files may be restricted to Registered Users only or may require Users to obtain authorisation from an Authorising Agent.


Administrators are members of University staff. They may modify, distribute and delete Metadata Records and Datasets registered and deposited in the Archive to ensure the preservation and management of content in accordance with the Archive’s policies and in compliance with any legal considerations that apply, and may fairly and lawfully process personal data supplied to the Archive in accordance with the policies of the Archive and the University, and subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Service levels


The Archive will be accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with 99% target uptime during any calendar month.

Weekly service maintenance takes place every Tuesday between 07.00 and 09.00. During this time the Archive may for brief periods be partially or wholly unavailable.

Wherever possible at least five days’ notice of any planned downtime outside of the weekly maintenance window will be provided on the Archive interface.

Any unscheduled service outages will be managed to minimise impact on the service and to bring the Archive back to full operation as soon as possible. In the event of an unscheduled loss of service please contact

Security of data

The Archive is managed to Information Security standard ISO27001. The Archive holds two copies of deposited data in separate data centres, and places a third copy in escrow with an independent third party.

When data are first deposited in the Archive they will be automatically transferred to secure storage. The Depositor should retain their copy of the data during this transit phase. Once the three copies of the data have been deposited into the long-term storage data centres this will be indicated on the Metadata Record.

Data deposit

There is a size limit of 10 Gigabytes (GB) per file for upload of data files to the Archive via the web interface. The success of web upload for files of a few GB or more cannot be guaranteed. Some browsers have a file size limit of 4 GB on file uploads, and network connection speeds may also limit the size of uploads.

Files that have not been successfully uploaded via the web interface or that are greater than 10 GB in size can be deposited by other means. Depositors should contact for assistance.


Metadata Records may be created by Registered Users free of charge at any time.

Registered Users may deposit Datasets related to a research project up to a volume of 20 Gigabytes (GB) at no charge. Deposits greater than 20 GB may be subject to a charge and must be agreed in advance with the Archive Administrators.

Funded projects may be able to recover archiving costs from research funders.


User support is provided by the Research Data Manager and Archive Administrators. The core hours of support are from 09:00 to 17:00 during University working days.

Support requests and enquiries should be sent to, or by phone the Research Data Manager on extension 6161. Email requests and enquiries will be acknowledged within one working day. Requests will be prioritised for resolution according to urgency and levels of demand.

Consultations or extended support can be provided on request.


The University makes no undertakings as to the accuracy of any Dataset or Metadata Record or their conformity with any relevant laws, and accepts no liability for mistakes, omissions, or legal infringements within any Dataset or Metadata Record.

Use of any information supplied by the Archive is at the user’s own risk. Users should read carefully any information supplied with a Dataset which qualifies the accuracy or viability of the data supplied.

The University accepts no liability for any errors or losses caused by any inaccuracies in information supplied by the Archive, or for the consequences of any person acting on or otherwise relying on such information.

While every care will be taken to preserve all Datasets, the University is not liable for loss of or damage to any Datasets stored in the Archive.