From 1 April 2022, anyone receiving UKRI funding is required to include a Data Access Statement to in-scope research articles , even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible (see UKRI Open Access Policy).
This requirement, which is included in the the commitments set out in the Concordat on Open Research Data, informs readers where the underlying research materials associated with a paper are available, and how the research materials can be accessed. The statement can also include links to the dataset, where applicable and appropriate.
The data availability statement should be placed at the end of the ‘Materials and methods’ section. For papers that don’t have a ‘Material and methods’ section, the statement should be provided as a separate section before the Acknowledgements.
Ideally, data should be deposited prior to submission so that during submission you can provide an accurate data availability statement, and the data repository persistent identifier, if applicable. In CORD, Cranfield’s repository for research data, it’s possible to reserve a DOI to include in the proof you submit to your publisher. Where datasets have a persistent identifier, or DOI, this should be cited in both the text and the reference section.
The UKRI encourages that all publicly funded research data should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible. Where there are reasons to protect access to the data, for example commercial confidentiality or sensitivities around data derived from potentially identifiable human participants, these should be included in the statement.
Research data, as defined in the Concordat on Open Research Data, can include code, software, numerical scores, textual records, images, sounds, objects and manuscripts. The minimum dataset is that needed for independent verification of research results.
The UKRI’s councils’ policies and guidance on research data are available at making your research data open.
Examples of data availability statements are available in our guidance: ‘How should I write a data availability statement?‘ We have recently been monitoring compliance of UKRI-funded publications and intend to soon extend this to all Cranfield publications, as set out in Cranfield University Open Access Policy.
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