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).



If your data were collected from SAFE landscapes, you should submit your datasets to the SAFE data repository. Your data will still be listed in the NERC EIDC data catalogue but, by agreement with the EIDC, all data collected at SAFE will adopt a common repository and metadata format.

If your data are not related to SAFE, you may choose to deposit data in the EIDC (NERC Data Centre) or other repositories such as ForestPlots.NET.

Please follow the following steps to deposit the data in different platforms/ repositories:

For the Deposition of Data in SAFE Repository

  • Please check some of the existing files to get an idea of what the formatted datasets look like:
  • You can use the formatting guide to complete the metadata markup on your files:
  • Once you have got the file formatted, then submit it through the SAFE website (not Zenodo). You will need to be registered, but if you’ve worked at SAFE, you probably already are.
  • The website will automatically check the file and metadata and may send you a message detailing problems with the file. Please let us (  know if you need any assistance on this.
  • Once the file has passed checking then the Admin team will publish the checked dataset on Zenodo. If your dataset is in an Excel file, the process is now complete. If you need to use other file formats, then the metadata is still submitted as described above using an Excel file but you will need to contact SAFE ( to arrange for the data files to be uploaded.

For the Deposition of Data in EIDC/NERC Data Centre

1. Your completed datasets (Excel files)

2. Discovery metadata (Template; Guidelines)

3. Contextual metadata (Example; Guidelines)

    • For further information on preparing the datasets, please check the EIDC weblink.
    • Once you supply the datasets along with associated metadata (three files), the Research Data Manager will forward your files/datasets to EIDC/NERC Data Centre.
    • EIDC will then get back to you to arrange the Service Agreement with you, for which you need to fill in the Form.
    • After completion of the Service terms and conditions, your datasets will be published online. If you are still working on your data for publication and do not want to make your datasets publicly accessible, the datasets can be embargoed for max 2 years (you can mention this while completing Service Agreement with EIDC).

For the Deposition of Data in other Repositories

If you would like to deposit your datasets in other repositories such as GEM and ForestPlots.NET, please contact NERC HMTF Data Manager, Balram Dhakal ( for further information and procedures.

Additional information

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

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.

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.


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.