Managing research data
06 Jun 2023
- Philip King



The work of ISIS users involves the production or collection of data, which is then analysed and used as the basis for published conclusions. This page has guidance and advice to help the management and publishing of research data.





Useful information

Data Policies and Principles

During any project, you will likely need to comply with a number of data policies including funder, institutional and facility policies. Data policies outline how you should manage your data both during and after the project has ended.

  • ISIS data management policy. Details the guarantees ISIS provides and the requirements for facility users, pertaining to the curation, access, ownership, use and storage of data collected at ISIS.
  • UKRI Making your research data open. Information about the UKRI policies on open access and open research data.

Data Management Plans (DMP)

Research funders often require the development and implementation of a Data Management Plan (DMP). Whist ISIS policy does not mandate the requirement for a Data Management Plan, it is still good practice to create a one at the start of every project, as it will help you to:

  • Define how you will manage data generated during the project
  • Allows you to consider and address data related challenges ahead of time

The data management plan should explain what data will be created, how the data will be managed over the lifetime of the project and what will be published and preserved for future re-use (noting any restrictions that may need to be applied). You should refer to both your institutions, research funder and the ISIS data policy when writing your DMP. For further information, you may wish to look at the DMP guidance produced by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).

Sharing your data

All raw data produced at ISIS is automatically added to the ISIS data catalogue. For information on how to access your data, please see Access to Data. Note: The ISIS data catalogue is designed to facilitate the storage of and access to raw data and facility-generated reduced data. Additional files (e.g. produced by analysing raw or reduced data) cannot be added to the ISIS data catalogue and should instead be deposited into a suitable digital repository. For more information please see the ISIS data policy.

Repositories are digital services designed to facilitate the discovery and access to research data, helping researchers to comply with Open and FAIR data practices. There are 3 main types of repositories: Domain- or discipline-specific, Institutional and Generalist. Selecting the most appropriate repository will depend on the type and nature of your dataset. ​

When selecting a suitable repository, you should check:

  • Institution and funder requirements. Does your institution or funder specify a repository in which you should deposit your data?
  • Standard practice within your domain and/or subject area. Is there a subject-specific repository that is well established within the scientific community.

Alternatively you can use a generalist repository, such as Zenodo, or repository registry, such as Re3data, to identify a suitable repository.

eData: the STFC Research Data Repository

STFC staff within ISIS can deposit data and software that underpins research publications, into eData: the STFC Research Data Repository. Note: this services is only available to STFC staff and cannot accept deposits from ISIS users external to STFC.

For more information about eData and its intended uses, please see the eData policies page or contact

Data Access Statements

For data that supports a journal article or publication, you should include a Data Access Statement (also known as a Data Availability Statement) in your manuscript, even when there is no data or the data are inaccessible. The purpose of the statement is to tell the reader where the supporting data can be found and under what conditions it can be accessed, improving the discoverability and FAIRness of the data.

Note: papers that are in scope of the UKRI Open Access policy should include a data access statement.

The data access statement should briefly outline:

  • Where the data can be accessed
  • The persistent identifier (PID) typically a DOI, accession number or URL of the database
  • Details of any access restrictions and a justifiable explanation of why access is restricted (For example: commercial reasons or contains sensitive information)

There is no universal set format for writing a data access statement. The journal publisher may provide you with guidance and templates. For journals that have a dedicated data access or data availability section, this is where you should include your statement. If no section exists, we recommend placing your statement within the acknowledgements section.

Example statement for data under embargo:

Data supporting this paper will be available from the ISIS DataGateway catalogue at after a 3 year embargo period from the date of publication.

We would like every paper coming from ISIS to have the relevant DOI(s) cited. This will help us hugely in finding publications, as well as providing publication readers with more information about the data they are looking at.

For more information regarding data citation, please see our guide on How to cite your Data DOI.   







Contact: King, Philip (STFC,RAL,ISIS)