Access Keys:


Concordat on Open Research Data launched


Four of the UK’s leading research organisations have, today, launched a concordat that proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data.

The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group and is a set of expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community.

This concordat will help to ensure that research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible; in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved.

The ten principles include:

  • Importance of developing data skills
  • Importance of ensuring data underlying publications is accessible by publication date
  • Rights of data creators to reasonable first use
  • Expectations of data users to acknowledge use of others’ data

While there are four initial signatories to the concordat, there has been wider consultation with the research community and their feedback and input helped shape the final text. The Concordat on Open Research Data is open for other organisations and groups to sign up to over time. Interested parties can contact

Responses from the four initial signatories:


“Open research data has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to research and to wider society. Open data will reveal new research avenues, and deliver innovative new technologies and services that will improve our lives. Achieving open data is not easy; there are substantial challenges ahead which will require the commitment of everyone involved in research. This concordat is an important step towards securing this commitment. I would now encourage all those involved in research to sign up to the principles and engage with this agenda.”

David Sweeney, Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange, HEFCE

Research Councils UK

“RCUK welcomes the Open Data Concordat and the focus that the core principles bring to ensuring that the data resulting from the research that we fund is as open as possible. By ensuring good practice around the open use and reuse of data, where appropriate, we can ensure that research brings optimum benefits to the long term prosperity and wellbeing of the UK and to the world.”

Prof. Duncan Wingham, Chief Executive of NERC and RCUK Open Data Champion

Universities UK

“Open research data has the potential to deliver significant benefits for society by enhancing the impact of our world-class research base. Universities UK welcomes this concordat, which sets out the aspirations of the research community while recognising the costs and challenges that must be addressed if we are to realise these benefits. By supporting the concordat, universities and other research organisations can help ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of science and research.” 

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK,

Wellcome Trust

“The Concordat sets out core principles to guide the research community in ensuring that research data can be accessed and used in ways that will accelerate discovery and maximise benefits to society. Importantly, it recognises that not all research data can be shared openly, and that there is a need for all researchers to plan how they will manage and share data as an integral part of planning their research”  

Nicola Perrin, Head of Policy at Wellcome Trust

Open research data is the next step in achieving the UK’s open science ambitions and will help improve co-operation and strengthen the UK’s position as a global science leader.

- ends -

Further information

RCUK Communications Team
Tel: 01793 444387 or email:

Notes to editors

  1. HEFCE

    The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) aims to create and sustain the conditions for a world-leading system of higher education which transforms lives, strengthens the economy, and enriches society.

    HEFCE funds and regulates universities and colleges in England, investing on behalf of students and the public to promote excellence and innovation in research, teaching and knowledge exchange. For 2016-17 we will allocate £3.7 billion to 131 universities and higher education colleges and over 200 further education and sixth form colleges.

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at

    The seven UK Research Councils are:


  3. Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

  4. Universities UK is the representative organisation for the UK’s universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the definitive voice for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector. With 133 members and offices in London, Cardiff (Universities Wales) and Edinburgh (Universities Scotland), it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally. Visit:

  5. Working group organisations: AHRC, NERC, RCUK, Newcastle University, Jisc, Universities UK, HEFCE, Warwick University, Research Information Network, Springer Nature, British Library, Wellcome Trust, Essex University, Russell Group

Freedom of Information | Cookies and Privacy | Terms and Conditions | © Research Councils UK 2014