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Research Data Management (RDM): Research Data Policy @ UCT

UCT Libraries Research Data Services provide guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategy during the proposal phase through preserving your data at the conclusion of your project.

Research Data Policy @ UCT

At UCT, the drivers and principles for managing research data are emerging in response to a number of policies published by funders of research, which include:

  • ensuring the validation of research results

  • providing research opportunities in data reuse

  • enabling actionable and socially-beneficial science to address global research challenges.

The core mandates emerging from the policy are that UCT researchers and postgraduate students who receive public funding are required to create a Data Management Plan (DMP) outline how they will manage, curate and if appropriate publish their research data; and that research data should be stored on a trusted digital repository at the culmination of research. The policy further encourages open data publishing, while being cognisant that making data resulting from publicly-funded research open access requires consideration of the necessary limits on openness. The UCT RDM Policy will assist researchers in complying with legal requirements and emerging terms of funding and scholarly publishing regarding personal information and commercial considerations.

The RDM policy is informed by the FAIR open data principles (data should be 'Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable'), an international standard for Open Data and Open Science. To read more about the FAIR principles, consult the ANDS website.


The University of Cape Town's Research Data Management (RDM) Policy is available here.


Full policy information pack

Copyright materials

Other than for specifically commissioned works, in terms of the UCT IP Policy, UCT automatically assigns the rights to IP creator(s).  These works include material such as video clips, recordings, figures, drawings, designs and diagrams, written material (e.g. a full paper if desired/permitted, or notes)

In making the deposit, the depositor confirms that:

  • they are the sole rights holder and/or they have received the right/permission from the rights holder(s) to publish the materials, i.e.:
    • if the depositor is not the copyright holder and the material is copyrighted, the depositor acknowledges that they have received permission from the rights holder to publish the copyright material openly and have adhered to the conditions under which the copyright holder has granted publication rights. e.g. acknowledged the original creator of the work and/or licensed the work under specified conditions
    • where the depositor is not the sole IP creator, that written permission approving the deposit has been received from all the IP creators, and in the case of video material that the necessary image releases have been obtained from people appearing in the videos
  • the material is not offensive, false, defamatory, pornographic, nor in breach of any law
  • the material does not contain confidential, or sensitive, human subject-related information, unless such information is adequately protected and/or coded/encrypted as per conditions determined by the approving research ethics committee.
  • the material does not contain commercial information without written proof of their authority to do so.

UCT may take down any publication without notice if any of the items contained within the publication are in breach of any of the above, or:

  • if the data includes work that is found to be fraudulent, falsified, plagiarised or against the FAIR principles of Open Science[2]
  • the depositor has requested to have the data removed from the repository provided that the request is accompanied by a reasonable motivation approved by the Research Data Management Governance Committee in terms of its mandate to approve exceptions to the public release of data for legal, ethical and commercial reasons 
  • If UCT or the depositor choose to remove the data removed from the repository, the metadata may be retained in the repository in order to trace the original DOI and indicate that the removal was deliberate. Furthermore, UCT may retain a copy of the data for archival and reference purposes
  • UCT recommends that the depositor makes use of a Creative Commons license to ensure appropriate reuse of their work, while still enabling open science. More information about Creative Commons licensing here and figshare licensing options here.