BootcampEPSRC: Physical data

Physical data

Section 5 of 7

CircuitboardImage: Circuitboard [cropped], blickpixel, Pixabay, Public Domain

EPSRC’s expectations on data storage and data sharing also apply to physical samples or collections. This means that you need to ensure that such samples are stored appropriately for a minimum of 10 years after the end of the research project, and are available for others to use. However, there is often no equivalent to a research data repository for physical samples, so it can be very difficult to store and grant access to this type of research data for the requisite length of time.

Given these likely difficulties, it is acceptable to provide access to the parameters needed to reproduce the sample rather than the sample itself. This documentation should be treated in the same way as other digital research data, and should be either included in the text of any related papers, published alongside the paper as supplementary information, or deposited in a data repository.

1. You are conducting a study that involves destructive testing of samples. At the end of the study, the data you have collected includes the destroyed physical samples, the raw digital outputs from data loggers recording the effects of the testing, and the processed data logger digital outputs. You plan to deposit the digital data in a repository. What is the easiest way to share the physical samples?