NTU Research Data Policy


There is an increasing emphasis on managing and sharing research data. Research Data Management e-learning course and online guide are available to help researchers learn more about the various aspects of research data management and how to meet the university as well as funders’ requirements. 

NTU research data repository DR-NTU (Data)

The DR-NTU (Data) is the NTU research data repository which supports NTU faculty members, research staff and students in meeting their funders, institutional, publishers and research communities' data sharing requirements. The NTU Research Data Policy requires final research data to be made available in DR-NTU (Data) and/or an external open access data repository. To find out more about DR-NTU (Data), please visit DR-NTU (Data) or visit About or FAQ.

NTU Research Data Policy

For queries regarding the NTU Research Data Policy, ​refer to OIKLS' FAQ page​ or email [email protected].

1. Policy Statement

1.1 This policy aims to ensure that research data generated in the conduct of research projects at NTU are managed in a systematic and comprehensive manner to ensure integrity, accountability, long term availability, appropriate sharing and compliance with requirements of funding agencies.

2. Background and Rationale

2.1 NTU recognizes that research data is an important part of all research and scholarly work carried out in the university, not only for supporting research findings and discovery but also in contributing to the advancement of science and scholarship through its availability for sharing. Moreover the proper management of research data is necessary to ensure that the research integrity of research work carried out in NTU is beyond reproach. 

3. Scope

3.1 This Policy shall apply to all NTU faculty, staff, researchers, students and any other persons, including consultants, visiting researchers, those involved in the design, conduct or reporting of research performed at or under the auspices of the University.

4. Definitions

Research data: Research data are data in whatever formats or form collected, observed, generated, created and obtained during the entire course of a research project. This would include numerical, descriptive, aural, visual or physical forms recorded by the researcher, generated by equipment and derived from models, simulations. 

Final research data: The final dataset is a collection of final version of data that exists during the last stage in the data lifecycle in which all re-workings and manipulations of the data by the researcher have ceased.

Data management plan: A Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data management life cycle for all datasets that will be collected, processed or generated by the research project. It is a document outlining how research data will be handled during and after the project is completed, describing what data will be shared and/or made open, and how it will be curated and preserved. 

Data repository: A system where data are stored securely and made available for use. This includes but is not limited to the university data repository, a discipline specific repository, a funder repository or a commercial system. 

Data management: It refers to all the processes and actions required to manage data using good practice throughout the research life-cycle for current and future research purposes and users. 

Metadata: It refers to information or facts about a set of research data for the purpose of attribution, description, management, verification and discovery.

Data documentation: It refers to documentation that help to facilitate the reuse of research data by providing information about the context in which the data were collected and derived. 

5. Policy

5.1 Requirements for Research Data Management

5.1.1      Ownership    The University owns all research data produced by research projects conducted at or under the auspices of NTU regardless of funding source, unless specific terms of sponsorship, other agreements or university policy supersede these rights.    In joint projects with other external parties, there shall be clear agreement for NTU to jointly hold all rights and ownership of research data arising from the project.    The University assigns automatic rights to the PI and his/her designated researchers    to use and publish all research data arising from their project for non-commercial purposes only.    If a PI leaves NTU for another institution together with his ongoing research project, ownership of research data produced during the period may be transferred with the approval of the Director of Research.    For faculty and research staff (including visiting and temporary faculty and research staff) who are leaving the University:

He/she is permitted to retain a copy of research data provided that (i) he/she has the consent of his/her PI (or in the case of PIs, the Head of the Autonomous Institute (AI), College Dean, Centre Director or School Chair of the respective AI, College, Centre or School that the research project comes under), to retain the research data; and (ii) the research data is not protected by legal obligations imposed by legislation1 or by contract2.

a) He/she has to undertake to use or publish research data or results from research projects conducted at or under the auspices of NTU only for non-commercial purposes, and to attribute and acknowledge NTU as the Data Owner whenever he/she does so.

b) Should he/she wish to use or publish any research data or research results from projects conducted at or under the auspices of NTU for commercial purposes, he/she has to undertake to obtain prior written permission from Head of the Autonomous Institute (AI), College Dean, Centre Director or School Chair of the respective AI, College, Centre or School that the research project comes under, who may require that a commercialization agreement be signed with NTU.

5.1.2      Data Management Plan    All research projects must include a data management plan (DMP) that records the intention on how research data arising from the research project will be managed, used and shared. A DMP must be filed through the University designated system at the start of each new project prior to funds being released.    PI shall update DMP to reflect the changes in the project. Annual review shall be performed on a DMP unless an update was carried out prior to this milestone.

5.1.3      Handling and Retention    All research data shall be stored in facilities, equipment, devices or virtual resources where the University has full access and control or be granted access when requested.    Reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that all research data are properly protected from loss, theft, damage and unauthorized access.  In addition, data integrity (i.e. prevention of corruption, tampering, transmission errors, etc.) over the entire data life cycle must be safeguarded.    All research data related to a research project shall be retained for 10 years after publication or after the completion of the project, whichever is later. If litigation proceedings, investigation on research misconduct, review of financial management or other formal enquiries are started during this ten-year period, all research data shall be retained until the satisfactory completion of these proceedings.    A longer retention period for research data may be imposed if required by government oversight, funding agencies and negotiated terms with external project partners and sponsors.    Research data must be handled and maintained in a manner that is consistent with the NTU Data Governance Policy.    Research data from human subject research studies must be maintained in a manner that is consistent with the NTU Institutional Review Board Guidelines and national legislation and regulations.

5.1.4       Disposal    Beyond the period of retention specified here, the destruction of the research record is at the discretion of NTU in consultation with the PI and his or her research entity.    Records that may be relevant to emerging or current allegations of research misconduct or challenged research results must not be modified or destroyed and must be retained at least until notification from the University that the matter is resolved.

5.1.5       Deposit    The final research data generated in research projects, must be deposited in the NTU Data Repository or an external open access data repository. Sensitive data must be stored in a separate secure system.    If all final research data are shared on an external open access data repository, the URL link and access method to the dataset must be registered with the University designated system. If final research data is shared on an external open access data repository, a dataset has to be created on the NTU Data Repository for any remaining data. A link to the externally shared data should be provided.    Deposit shall be made no later than publication or 12 months after the project end date whichever is earlier.

5.1.6       Data Sharing    The final research data from projects carried out at NTU shall be made available for sharing (via the NTU Data Repository) in a timely and responsible manner.    NTU recognises that there are legal, ethical and commercial constraints on release of research data. To ensure that the research process is not damaged by inappropriate release of data, obligations toward prior formal agreements with external collaborators and parties on non-disclosure or proprietary use of data are to be considered.    The sharing and use of research data shall be based on Creative Commons license CC:BY:NC where others may use data for non-commercial applications only and must correctly attribute the data source in NTU unless specified otherwise in the DMP.    Data documentation shall be shared together with the final research data to facilitate reuse of the research data.

[Note: If you need to share data with external parties (e.g. collaborators or service vendors), you are advised to have an RCA/NDA in place. Please obtain a contract template from LSO's webpage.]

5.2 Roles and Responsibilities in Data Management

5.2.1 Principal Investigators (PIs)    Have overall responsibility for the proper and effective management of research data generated during the research project, in accordance with NTU policy and guidelines.    Prepare a data management plan using either the NTU DMP template or that provided by the funding agency and submit it online onto the NTU platform specified by the University within three months upon approval of the project grant. The PI shall provide an updated version whenever there are substantive changes to the research project.    Submit the final research data and data documentation to the NTU Data Repository or external open access repository no later than the first online publication of the article or 12 months after the project end date whichever is earlier.    Any data which is retained elsewhere, for example in an international data service or domain repository should be registered with NTU Data Repository at time of deposit.    Ensure that formal agreements are reached with external collaborators and parties, if any, on the ownership, rights, use and sharing of research data arising from the research project before commencement of project.    Provide statement and justification if there is a strong need to deviate from NTU research data policy including sharing of final research data.    Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be handed over to any external organisation without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding.

5.2.2       Colleges and Schools    Ensure that all research projects include a DMP and that is attached to the relevant record in the NTU research information management system.    Ensure that PIs adhere to their obligations as detailed in this policy.

5.2.3       Research Support Office    Implement and coordinate the execution of the Research Data Policy.    Ensure that all NTU staff are informed about the Research Data Policy and any subsequent changes.    Ensure that the Research Data Policy is updated to take into account the latest funder requirements and national research directives and guidelines.

5.2.4       Library    Provide training and advice on research data management best practices including metadata description, DMP preparation, copyright and licenses.    Develop, revise and maintain the NTU DMP template.    Develop and manage the NTU open access research data repository for submission of final research data for data sharing purposes.

5.2.5     Centre for IT Services    Provide technical support on systems required for compliance with the research data policy.   Advise on storage requirements of research data where necessary throughout the data life cycle of a research project.   Provide advice on software to support effective research data management.

5.2.6       Research Integrity and Ethics Office    Provide advice, guidance, and reviews relating to research data management concerning research integrity and ethics.    Responsible for monitoring Key Risk Indicators relating to incidences of data misconduct.

6. Implementation

6.1 The Research Support Office (RSO) is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of the policy.

7. Related Legislation, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines