Data Archiving


All datasets that have been produced from our research (funded by NERC) are required to be offered to  NERC/EIDC for long term archiving to be available to future researchers.  This condition is part of the funding agreement.  Where appropriate, embargoes of up to 2 years can be put on the dataset.  Curation of the archived datasets is free for files up to 1 Tb (some conditions apply – please contact the Data Manager for further information).

NERC Data Policy

The NERC Data Policy clearly states the need for openness and access to the data that underpin research publications. NERC considers the data produced by the activities it funds as a public good which should be made openly available for anyone to use.

The NERC Data Policy applies to all environmental data collected, acquired, created or assembled through activities that are either fully or partially funded by NERC. However, created information produces such as model codes are excluded from the policy.

Key NERC Data Requirements

Need to deposit data after collection? Yes


NERC typically requires the finalised datasets with long-term value to be submitted to a NERC Data Centre as soon after the end of data collection as possible.

Data publication timeframe? As soon as possible after the data collection – you do not have to wait until the end of the project period


2 years embargo period permitted


Researchers are entitled to right of first use (i.e. exclusive use) to the data they generate/collected. So even if you are waiting to publish your research, this 2 years period provides you the buffer.

Preferred data repository? Yes

EIDC for the environmental data collected under HMTF Programme.

In our Data Management Plan, we agreed to deposit our data, primarily, at EIDC.

Statement on data access? Yes

All research publications arising from NERC funding must include a statement on how underpinning research datasets and other relevant research materials can be accessed (e.g. providing DOI).



As we are coming towards the end of the HMTF Programme, the researchers are now required to deposit all the research data, resulting from NERC grants, into designated Data Centre, to comply with the NERC grant requirements.

The HMTF Programme Data Management Plan explains our commitment to deposit the data from our research projects, primarily at The Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC).

The researchers do not have to wait until the end of the project period to deposit the data; please do deposit the data as soon as you are ready. Increasing number of Journals are now looking for assigned DOI while accepting manuscripts for final publication.

Even if you are yet to publish your findings, NERC Policy allows you to have 2 years embargo period to allow you to work-up your data sets and publish your findings.


At HMTF Programme, the process of data archiving includes the following 3 steps:


1. Select and prepare the dataset(s) to archive


2. Complete the Metadata and Data Transfer form

  • The EDIC requires two types of metadata to gather information about your dataset(s):

Please complete both the metadata. If you would like to see how these metadata will be used while archiving your data, you may refer to the EIDC Catalogue.


3. Contact the Programme Data Manager

  • Please contact Balram Dhakal ( with your dataset(s) and relevant documents (Metadata and Service Agreement Form) to ensure the documentation standards are met for archiving your data. He will work with you to finalise the archiving process in liaison with the NERC/EIDC focal point.


Further information:


Looking to Archive Data in Other Repositories e.g. SAFE Platform?

If you are looking to archive your data sets in other repositories such as SAFE PlatformGEM and ForestPlots.NET, please contact the Data Manager at  for further information and procedures.



DOI Requests

If you need a DOI for a NERC funded dataset to support a journal paper, please apply to the NERC data centre for the DOI rather than using another repository.  Free curation of the dataset is provided by NERC in almost all cases.

If your dataset is complete and cleaned, do not wait until the end of the programme if you can archive it now.  A DOI will be issued when a dataset is archived so the procedure below should be followed.

DOI requests should be made via the HMTF Data Manager, Balram Dhakal, Before contacting the HMTF Data Manager, please download and complete the following documents as much as possible.  However, make contact as soon as possible to avoid urgent DOI requests.

You will also need to provide the following metadata:



HMTF programme – specific links

NERC website  

NERC – HMTF program information

Award details

NERC Data policy document

Guidance notes for Data policy

NERC data policy information page

NERC Data Catalogue service   – Searchable catalogue of NERC funded data held at all NERC data centres.


Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC) 

 The EIDC is the NERC data centre which will store HMTF datasets of long term value.

EIDC website

EIDC data catalogue:   View descriptions of currently available datasets from the EIDC and see what discovery metadata is required for the catalogue when your dataset is uploaded to EIDC.

Datasets held by the Environmental Information Data Centre can be found by searching or browsing the CEH Data Catalogue using a text search and/or map search option. Each data resource has its own page, providing a description, background information, digital object identifier (where available) and links from which the dataset can be downloaded or ordered. Datasets are available under the Open Government Licence where possible, and licences for each dataset are provided.

Amazonian stream dataset – example of available dataset

The deposit process can be viewed here.


Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project

Project website


Online databases


Research data management resources

Institution guidelines

As outlined in the HMTF data management plan, researchers in the BALI, ECOFOR and LOMBOK consortia are encouraged to follow the data management guidelines outlined by their institutions (e.g. backup, storage, policies and support).  Links to relevant website pages by institution are shown below:


Cranfield University

Queen Mary University of London

University of Aberdeen

University of Bristol

University of Cambridge

University of Edinburgh

Imperial College London

University of Kent

University of Lancaster

University of Leeds

University of Liverpool

University of Oxford

University of York



See general information for further advice.



ITBC, University of Malaysia



James Cook University

National University of Singapore

Northern Arizona University

Mendel University in Brno


Other resources


The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) website has a wealth of information about all aspects of data management.  While it was set up to support UK research institutions, the majority of information is applicable to all research data management.

DataOne ( is another good source of information for general guidelines on data management.  They list many resources and particularly useful are their summary sheets on various data management aspects.

  • Data management introduction – Trends in data collection, storage and loss, the importance and benefits of data management, and an introduction to the data life cycle
  • Data sharing – Data sharing in the context of the data life cycle, the value of sharing data, concerns about sharing data, and methods and best practices for sharing data
  • Data management planning – Benefits of a data management plan (DMP), DMP components, tools for creating a DMP, NSF DMP information, and a sample
  • Data entry and manipulation Best practices for data entry, data entry and data manipulation tools.
  • Data quality control and assurance – Types of data errors, best practices for data quality assurance and control to prevent and correct errors.
  • Protecting your data – The difference between data protection, backup, archiving and preservation, best practices for backing up and preserving data.
  • Metadata – Metadata defined, information included in metadata, selection of metadata standards, the value and utility of metadata.
  • Writing quality metadata – Best practices for writing high quality metadata
  • Data citation – Data citation defined, benefits of data citation, examples and best practices for data citation
  • Data analysis and workflows Types of data analyses, introduction to reproducibility, provenance, and workflows, informal (conceptual) and formal (executable) workflows
  • Legal and policy issues – Legal and policy issues, copyright and licenses, data restrictions and ethical considerations.