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QA509 Research Data Management Policy


The purpose of research data management is to maximise the academic value of research data by ensuring that such data is managed according to good practices for collection, curation, storage, management, retrieval, re-use, sharing, archiving, and access, appropriate for the data and discipline concerned, and thereby to ensure compliance with the requirements of funding agencies and other stakeholders.

The aim of this policy is to advise University of Galway staff engaged in Research on their responsibilities with regard to data collected/stored as part of a research project in which University of Galway staff/students are engaged in, and the supports that are available for same, and to ensure that research data is managed in line with Data Protection Regulations. The policy covers all research related data generated, collected and processed by University of Galway staff as part of a project, which is led or contributed to by University of Galway staff/students.


  • Principal Investigator (PI): The individual identified by the funder as the grantee of the research contract
  • Data Owner: Individual or group responsible for classifying data and generating guidelines for its lifecycle management
  • Authorised User: Individual who has been given access to process the data based on Data Owner’s consent
  • Data Processing: The carrying out of operations on data to retrieve, transform, or classify information
  • Research Data: Information in digital, computer-readable format or paper-based that is collected, generated or obtained during or because of undertaking research, which is subsequently used by the Researcher as a basis for making calculations or drawing conclusions to develop, support or revise theories, practices and findings.
  • Data Management Plan (DMP): A formal document that outlines how data is to be handled both during a research project and after the project is completed. The goal of a data management plan is to consider the many aspects of data management: metadata generation, data preservation, and analysis before the project begins, ensuring that data are well managed in the present and prepared for preservation in the future.
  • The FAIR Principles for Research Data management and stewardship: A set of principles regarding research data management that must ensure data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable

Policy Statement

University of Galway (or the "university") processes data for the purpose of carrying out the research mission of the university. The following principles and responsibilities will apply to research data:


  • University of Galway will support National and international standards/practices, regarding Open Access in compliance with funders requirements, as outlined in the University of Galway Policy on Open Access to Research Outputs
  • The approach to the management of University of Galway research data will be aligned with the FAIR Principles for Research data management and stewardship.
  • Research data will be managed to the highest standards throughout the research data lifecycle as part of the university’s commitment to research excellence.
  • All research data generated/collected/created by research activities at University of Galway is, subject to relevant policies and procedures, the property of the university and shall be retained by the university (this applies to data deposited in repositories on/off site) in line with the relevant appropriate Data Management Plan (DMP).
  • The university considers data associated with research activity of equal importance in terms of preservation as other key outputs from the research activity.

University Responsibilities:

  • The university will provide training, support, advice and where appropriate guidelines and templates for research data management plans, data protection and IT Security. Training will be defined by the relevant offices and organised by the HR Training and Development unit.
  • The university will provide mechanisms and services for storage, backup, registration, deposit and retention of research data assets in support of current and future access, during and after completion of research projects.
  • The university is committed to developing infrastructure and training to promote best practice in data management amongst its academics and researchers, to acknowledge its obligations and achieve compliance with this policy.

Researchers Responsibilities:

  • All research proposals should include a DMP with effect from the date of approval of this policy. Where a funder has stipulated specific requirements the DMP must comply with these.
  • Any costs/resources associated with data curation/management must be incorporated in the DMP and provision for long-term retention identified (if required).
  • The DMP must be adhered to and the commitments to store/publish data form part of the execution of the research project.
  • Research data should be managed in line with University of Galway Data Protection, Classification and Data Handling policies.
  • Researchers must obtain and retain appropriate consent for the use of personal/sensitive personal data. Proof of consent should be available for audit as long as the university retains the data.
  • The legitimate interests of the subjects of research data must be protected as defined in legislation for the period for which the university retains the data.
  • Research data of future historical interest, and all research data that represent records of the university, including data that substantiate research findings, will be offered and assessed for deposit and retention in an appropriate national or international data service or domain repository, or a university repository.
  • Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be handed over to commercial publishers or agents without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding. An exemption from this must be agreed with the Technology Transfer Office.
  • PI’s and research staff/students are required to complete training in the development of DMP and appropriate Data Protection, IT Security Training.

Download PDF copy of the policy: QA509 Research Data Management Policy

Data Protection Officer

Tel: 091 49 2150