Because good research needs good data

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

General Info

Name of policy

Data Sharing Policy (last revision v. 1.2, March 2016)


Michael Ball -

Policy Specifics

Data Plan

“All applications seeking research grant funding from BBSRC must submit a Data Management Plan. This should include concise plans for data management and sharing as part of the research grant proposal or provide explicit reasons why data sharing is not possible or appropriate. The Data Management Plan will be included in applications as a separate mandatory attachment. The page limit for the Data Management Plan is maximum one side of A4. Applicants must utilise this document to cover the plans for data management and sharing. Use of this space allocation for any other purpose will result in withdrawal of the application. BBSRC reserves the right to withdraw proposals that do not adhere to these guidelines.”

Additional guidance

The BBSRC provides a suggested table of contents for a Data Management Plan at There is also a Frequently Asked Questions document at which includes a statement on how DMPs are reviewed.

Data Sharing / Access

The BBSRC supports data sharing, and this is emphasised throughout the policy. The Council “recognises that different approaches to data sharing will be required in different situations and considers that it is most appropriate for researchers to determine their own strategies for data sharing and outline these within their research grant proposal(s). Applicants should consider where, how, and to whom their data should be made available.”

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

“Researchers are expected to ensure that data are maintained for a period of 10 years after the completion of the research project”.

Data Centre / Data Archive

BBSRC supports data sharing via a dedicated data centre, and directly between creators and re-users. “Researchers are encouraged to use existing infrastructure to facilitate data sharing where possible. BBSRC funds or otherwise supports a number of such resources (per the BBSRC Research Grants Guide, Where no such resources exist, applicants may consider sharing data via other third party mechanisms such as journal websites and / or open access repositories, many of which are now able to capture and share data underpinning publications.”


“BBSRC recognises that data sharing has time and cost implications. Funding to support the management and sharing of research data (for example staffing, physical resources such as storage and networking capability) can be requested as part of the full economic cost of a research project.”


“Grantholders are requested to capture and record data sharing activities, including details of where and how data have been shared, in the appropriate places on ResearchFish. Adherence to the proposed data management strategies set out in a funded proposal will be monitored through this mechanism.”

Related Policies

In common with the other RCUK councils, the BBSRC policy on data is intended to be read and interpreted in conjunction with the RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy ( and the Concordat on Open Research Data ( The BBSRC also has an Open Access policy ( in line with RCUK. Publications should be made available as rapidly and effectively as possible via deposit in an appropriate repository at or around the time of publication. This is a requirement for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).