Internationally, funders of research are increasingly interested in maximising the value of research data and may require you to have a data management plan in place.
Australia’s two major funding bodies have long recognised the value of proactive data management planning and providing access to research data wherever possible:
- Australian Research Council (ARC)
Since 2020 the ARC has required that successful grant recipients have a data management plan in place prior to the commencement of the research project. Further information is available on the ARC website.
The ARC Open Access Policy does not currently mandate open access to data, but is committed to maximising the benefits from ARC-funded research and encourages researchers to deposit data arising from research projects in publicly accessible repositories.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
NHMRC strongly encourages researchers to develop a research data management plan 'as early as possible in the research process.'
The NHMRC Open Access Policy strongly encourages researchers to consider the reuse value of their data and to take reasonable steps to share research data and associated metadata arising from NHMRC-supported research.
Additional detail on the national approach for data management and sharing is available in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 and the associated guide Management of Data and Information in Research.
Sherpa Juliet is an international database that shows research funders' policies and their requirements on open access, publication, and data archiving.
The list of journal publishers requiring freely-available data or a data availability statement with manuscript submission continues to grow.
If you have a particular journal in mind for the publication of your research, check the data availability requirements before review.
CHORUS has created a centralised index of publishers’ data availability policies with links to each publisher’s site.
- All published data descriptions are assigned a persistent identifier in the form of a digital object identifier (DOI), and include a preferred citation for inclusion in reference lists.
- Data descriptions are shared to Research Data Australia, a national discovery portal for research datasets.
- FAIR data does not necessarily have to be open access. Data can be restricted due to privacy concerns, national security, or commercial interests. Regardless, a published description should provide clarity and transparency around the conditions governing access and reuse, including a clear machine-readable licence where applicable.
- Reusable datasets include rich contextual description and clear communication of collection parameters, such as instrument calibration, environmental conditions, survey instrument design, software and code used.
Making Australia’s research data FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) supports knowledge discovery and innovation. FAIR provides a useful framework for thinking about sharing data in a way that will enable maximum use and reuse.