Because good research needs good data

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

General Info

Name of policy

Research Data Policy


Policy Specifics

Data Plan

“ESRC applicants who plan to generate data from their research must submit a data management plan as part of their Je-S application. We encourage all research grants generating data to introduce a robust data management plan, if one is not already in place.”

Data Sharing / Access

“Researchers should ensure that when they publish research findings, the data that support these findings are deposited at the same time with a responsible digital repository. The publication should reference where the data can be found and accessed so the findings can be verified, ideally via a formal citation.”

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

All data created or repurposed during the lifetime of an ESRC grant must be made available for re-use or archiving within three months of the end of the grant. There is no stipulation on how long data must be retained.

Data Centre / Data Archive

The ESRC funds the UK Data Service, but permits deposit elsewhere. At a minimum, grant holders “must provide metadata for resource discovery via the UK Data Service to maximise the discoverability of ESRC data assets.”


“ESRC funds its data service providers to guarantee (curation and) long-term preservation of all research data deposited by grant holders. Such costs for long-term preservation can therefore not be included in grant proposals.”


ESRC states that it will “apply sanctions, e.g. withholding the final payment of a grant, if data have not been deposited for archiving to the required standard within three months of the end of the grant.”

Additional Guidance

Related Policies

In common with the other RCUK councils, the ESRC 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 ESRC also has an Open Access to Research Outputs 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).