Because good research needs good data

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Policy Specifics

Data Plan

All applications for NERC funding must include an outline Data Management Plan, which must identify which of the data sets being produced are considered to be of long-term value, based on the criteria in NERC’s Data Value Checklist.

Data Sharing / Access

“NERC considers that long-term, open access to the data that underpin research publications will help to ensure the integrity, transparency and robustness of the research record. Access to these data supports the fundamental scientific requirement of allowing others to confirm or challenge research results.” “All research publications arising from NERC funding must include a statement on how the supporting data and any other relevant research materials can be accessed.”

Time Limits for Deposit and Retention

“To protect the research process NERC will allow those who undertake NERC-funded work a period to work exclusively on, and publish the results of, the data they have collected. This period will normally be a maximum of two years from the end of data collection.”

Data Centre / Data Archive

NERC maintains a number of discipline-oriented Environmental Data Centres “for the management and dissemination of environmental data of long-term value generated through NERC funding or deposited by third-parties.” Further, “all NERC-funded projects must work with the appropriate NERC Data Centre to implement the data management plan, ensuring that data of long-term value are submitted to the data centre in an agreed format and accompanied by all necessary metadata.”


Funding applications must “identify all resources needed to implement the Data Management Plan.”


Grant holders who fail to meet NERC’s requirements “risk having award payments withheld or becoming ineligible for future funding.”

NERC Guidance

For full guidance visit, the NERC policies website.


Related Policies

In common with the other RCUK councils, the NERC policy on data is intended to be read and interpreted in conjunction with the RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy, and with the Concordat on Open Research Data (

NERC has an 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).