MRC - Medical Research Council

The MRC open access policy supports open and unrestricted access to published research.

MRC also has a Data Sharing Policy - the current version is 2.2, released September 2016.

Accompanying guidance, which includes their expectations for data management plans, is also available here.


Time Limits

The MRC expects publications to be made openly accessible as soon as possible and in any event within six months of the journal publisher's official date of final publication.

Data should be made available in a timely and responsible manner. A limited defined period of exclusive use of data for primary research is reasonable.

Data must be securely maintained for a minimum of ten years after completion of the research

Data Plan

Applicants are expected to submit a data management plan at the grant proposal stage.

A template is provided outlining nine sections to address, including: a desription of the data, data collection, data management, data security and data sharing.

Access/Data Sharing

The MRC expects publications to be available promptly and encourages researchers to make data available with as few restrictions as possible.

If an open access fee has been paid, MRC requires research papers are licenced such that they may be freely copied and re-used for purposes such as text and data mining.

A data support service is in development to facilitate access and sharing of research data.

Long-term Curation

Data must be properly curated throughout its life-cycle and released with the appropriate high-quality metadata. This is the responsibility of the data custodians, who are usually those individuals or institutes that received MRC funding to create or collect the data.

Primary research data must be retained in their original form within the research establishment that generated them for a minimum of ten years.


No statment is given on how compliance with MRC's open access or data sharing policies will be monitored.



The MRC offers guidance on data sharing. This includes a glossary, the Research Data Gateway, and support for data management planning. A template is provided for DMPs, as well as guidance for peer-reviewers when assessing plans.


The MRC supports UK PubMed Central.

Data Centre

The MRC does not run a data centre. The Principal Investigator and HE institution are responsible for long-term access and preservation.


The MRC will pay any necessary charges levied by publishers who offer Open Access options. Anticipated future publication costs should be part of an institution’s indirect costs.

The MRC data policy does not state that costs associated with data management and sharing will be met.