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Australian funding agencies have guidelines relating to research data management. These guidelines address data in terms of data management plans and planning, data dissemination and sharing as well as long term data storage. The data guidelines as set out in the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research underpin all of these requirements.

ARC and data

The ARCs Discovery Projects instructions to applicants document states in Section C (p13):

Outline plans for the management of data produced as a result of the proposed research, including but not limited to storage, access and re-use arrangements.

This is elaborated on in their FAQ documents

  • 3.1 The ARC does not mandate open data. However, researchers are encouraged to consider the ways in which they can best manage, store, disseminate and re-use data generated through ARC-funded research. The Project Description requires researchers to articulate briefly their plans for the management of data generated through the proposed Project.

They also note in section 3.2 that it is not sufficient to answer the Management of Data section with words to the effect that the institutional requirements around data will be followed.

NHMRC and Data

NHMRC flow chart
NHMRC flow chart

In 2015 the NHMRC issued a statement on data sharing, which-in keeping with recent ARC changes-encourages but does not mandate, the sharing and reuse of research data sets.

The NHMRC advice is framed within a data management framework where data and the research project life cycle are inextricably linked. NHMRC clearly recognizes that there may be constraints on some data sets (e.g. sensitive data) but that many of these can be treated with certain techniques and shared (and reused) subsequently.

The NHMRC statement acknowledges the new ARC Funding Rules and the associated ANDS Guide to these.

ANDS support for ARC and NHMRC data policies

ANDS is well placed to actively assist individual institutions with the ARC and NHMRC policies on data management and sharing. ANDS offers consultancies, one-on-one advice and virtual meetings with those who work with ARC applications in their institution (e.g. Research Office and Library staff).

International funding perspectives

  1. Digital Curation Centre summary on funding and data (UK)
  2. Funding Agency and Data Management Guidelines from the University of Minnesota (US)
  3. De-Mystifying the Data Management Requirements of Research Funders (US)
  4. Browse data sharing requirements by Federal Agency (US): a community resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding both current and future U.S. federal funder research data sharing policies. Joint project of SPARC & Johns Hopkins University Libraries.

ANDS resources

If you are a researcher we advise you to contact your local Research Office as they are best informed on local arrangements.