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EM-RTP data servers: Data policy

Experimental data Policy

1. Policy Statement

The University of Warwick is committed to ensuring that there is transparency in the way that data, produced using experimental facilities (e.g. Research Technology Platforms), at the University of Warwick is owned, stored, accessed and managed.

The purpose of this policy is to provide researchers with information and guidance on data ownership, storage, access and management and to ensure that data is managed and used in ways that maximise the advancement of research and public benefit.


2. Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to users of the University of Warwick EM-RTP who produce experimental data or results.

 Experimental data arising from Proprietary Research is not covered by this policy and is subject to separate contractual arrangements.


3. Who is responsible for this policy?

The Electron Microscopy RTP Director has overall responsibility for this policy. Any queries or suggestions relating to this policy should be sent to


4. What is experimental data?

Experimental data is user-generated data and all associated metadata.


5. Who owns experimental data?

Data produced by University of Warwick equipment is owned by the University, unless determined otherwise by contractual obligations of the users. These contractual obligations may be to other users, supervisors/PIs, grant funding agencies or to other third parties, or it may be a pre-existing contractual obligation to The University of Warwick. All data must be treated according to the conditions set out in this document and also meet any additional contractual obligations of the research funding body. Experimental data may also be considered as creative output according to University Regulation 28 for Intellectual Property Rights (, and therefore be subject to the protocols described in the Regulation.


6. EM-RTP approved users

Approved users of the EM-RTP are users who have been approved for use of one or more microscopes and have access to the associated data servers.


7. The role of the Principal Investigator (PI)

All users of University of Warwick equipment, and their supervisors, have a responsibility to follow the policy set out in this document. Undergraduate students, postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers may work under the supervision of a University of Warwick employee with the role of Principal Investigator (PI). Responsibility for data and metadata generated by users who subsequently leave the University of Warwick will pass to the PI. In the case where a PI leaves the University responsibility will pass to a person designated by the PI or the Director of the EM-RTP if unspecified.


8. Where and how long will the experimental data be stored?

Experimental data will be stored by the University of Warwick for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of its creation. Following this initial storage period, the University of Warwick will create a single archive copy of the experimental data for long-term access. If more resilient long-term storage is required, this is the users’ responsibility.


9. Access to experimental data

The EM-RTP may choose to allow open access to experimental data. Unless agreed otherwise, open access will only occur after a delay (Embargo Period) of 3 years from the date on which the user-generated data is produced. The Embargo Period allows EM-RTP users to fully exploit the scientific potential of the data before open access is triggered. Subject to section 7 above, during the Embargo Period, access to the experimental data will be restricted to the experimental team and EM-RTP approved users.

The University of Warwick shall use reasonable endeavours to preserve the confidentiality of experimental data during the Embargo Period.

After the Embargo Period, the EM-RTP may make experimental data available on an open access basis under a CC-BY-4.0 licence.

Any PI who wishes to extend the Embargo Period for an additional 12 months at a time shall be entitled to submit an advance request to EM-RTP Director within 3 months prior to the end of the Embargo Period. The request should specify the reasons for the proposed extension.


10. User integrity

EM-RTP approved users must not copy, move or delete experimental data or metadata for which they have no responsibility.


11. Third-party experimental data management obligations

Approved users and their supervisors/PIs are responsible for meeting any third-party data management obligations that may be applicable.


12. Experimental data and publications

Users are required to acknowledge the source of the experimental data in published work in the following format: “Data was collected using the Electron Microscopy Research Technology Platform at the University of Warwick.”


13. Amendments to this Policy

This policy may be amended by us from time-to-time and it shall be your responsibility to comply with the terms of the amended policy from 1 October 2020 and any published amendments thereafter.



For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:


A University of Warwick Employee: Any person working for The University of Warwick under a contract of employment, joint appointment or secondment arrangement and any University of Warwick Director or office holder.

 University of Warwick Facilities: All research facilities made available by The University of Warwick, including (but not limited to) machinery, equipment, hardware and software.

 Embargo Period: the period of 3 years from the date on which the user-generated data is collected or produced.

 Experimental data: user-generated data and all associated metadata.

 Metadata: Information pertaining to data collected as a result of use of University of Warwick facilities and shall include (but shall not be limited to) experimental conditions, the context of the experiment, the experimental team and other information.

 PI: The principal investigator of a research project who holds responsibility for the data (irrespective of funding status). PIs may be subject to other contractual obligations as a condition of research funding, which may supersede this data policy.

 Proprietary Research: Research for which there are contractual obligations for confidentiality of proposal, data or results, for example commissioned through Warwick Scientific Services and subject to their terms and conditions

 Results: Any inventions, designs, information, know-how, specifications, formulae, Experimental Data, processes, methods, techniques and other technology or creative output arising from use of EM-RTP equipment.