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  4. Open Research Data Online (ORDO): Research Data Management Policies

Open Research Data Online (ORDO): Research Data Management Policies

ORDO is the Open University’s research data archive. Two types of material may be stored in the archive; archival research data and live research data.

Archival research data:

  • are selected for long term storageon the basis oftheir continuing value to the wider community
  • are made openly available, except where ethical, legal, commercial or other legitimate restrictions may apply
  • may not be overwritten or changed, but may be reversioned, and newer versions be given separate identifiers.

Live research data:

  • are not shared openly, but may be shared with invited collaborators
  • are subject to change
  • may not have long term value, andmay be deleted.

The policies below define the management of archival research data; researchers interested in using ORDO for the storage of live research data should consult the ORDO: live research data management policies.

Collection Policy

  • ORDO is an institutional research data repository.

  • Content deposited in ORDO is restricted to:

    • Data underpinning research publications which meet the "Frascati" definition of research;where the research has been undertaken at the Open University.
    • Stand-alone data deposits at the end of a project or other stage, created by research which meets the "Frascati" definition of research; where the research has been undertaken at the Open University.
    • Research data metadata, where the research dataset has been stored in another repository, where access to the research dataset is restricted, or where the research data are physical.
    • Research data created during the active phase of research life cycle; such data will be subject to change, are not publicly available. Live research data within ORDO will be reviewedby the depositor 12 months after the research is completeto decide which may be destroyed,orwhich need further curation to maintain value.

Submission Policy

  • Items may only be deposited by academic staff or doctoral students of the institution, or their delegated agents.
  • By depositing in ORDO, depositors are agreeing to the preservation and distribution of the metadata and full content of their research data files. Depositors grant ORDO the right to preserve and distribute the deposited content. Full details of the terms and conditions are provided in the depositor agreement.
  • Depositors take responsibility for ensuring that deposited content complies with the requirements of the current data protection legislation, and other legal requirements outlined in the depositor agreement.
  • Datasets up to and including 50 GB may be deposited for free; larger deposits may incur a charge. Please contact Library Research Support for further guidance.
  • Where research datasets contain physical research data the dataset metadata record should contain sufficient information for the end user to be able to consult the physical data, subject to legal, ethical or commercial constraints.
  • Before items are made available publicly, a member of library staff will:
    • Verify the data is within the scope of ORDO
    • Check the metadata. Amendments may be made to the metadata by the archive administrator to correct errors, ensure consistency, or to add administrative metadata.
    • Files in a dataset may be placed under embargo for a specified period, so that the metadata records and file names are visible, but the file contents cannot be viewed or downloaded. Files should not be embargoed for more than 12 months from the date of deposit, and the embargo should last no longer than the date of publication of any research findings that reference the dataset, unless there is good reason for withholding access to data. Reasons might include compliance with commercial sponsorship agreements, protection of personal information, protection of intellectual property rights or patent registration.

Metadata Policy

  • Deposited content must be accompanied by sufficient metadata describing its content, provenance and formats in order to support its preservation,dissemination and reuse.
  • Anyone may access the metadata.
  • The metadata may be re-used in any medium without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes provided the OAI Identifier or a link to the original metadata record is given.
  • Metadata records will be retained indefinitely. If a dataset or collection is withdrawn from ORDO, the associated metadata record will not be deleted, but will be annotated to record the change in status of the dataset or collection and the reason for this change.

Use Policy

  • All data deposited on ORDO will be assigned a CC-BY licence as a default. Alternative licences will be explicitly identified on individual items as required by funders or legal, ethical or commercial considerations.

Preservation Policy

  • ORDO's Preservation Policy aligns to the Open University Digital Preservation Policy (requires login)
  • Items will be retained for as long as research funders require, or as long as deemed to be of value to the wider community. Where they have not been reviewed already, all stored items will be reviewed after ten years to assess their continued value to the wider community. Where Faculties or Heads of Units require continued storage of unused datasets, they may be required to pay for continued storage at agreed rates.
  • ORDO will try to ensure continued readability and accessibility. Where necessary and practical, items in obsolete file formats will be migrated to newer formats. The original files will be retained.
  • ORDO uses the Arkivum archiving solution, giving a 100% guarantee of data security.
  • If necessary, an updated version of an item may be deposited; the earlier version will remain available for public view.
  • Prior to any scheduled disposal and destruction, the University will ensure:
    • The review of the stored data by the depositor, appropriate Faculty or Head of Unit.
    • Where data are found to be suitable for destruction and disposal, the destruction shall be managed in line with regulatory and contractual obligations, and according to the sensitivity of the data in question.
    • A record of the deletion will be stored with the metadata record, including the reasons for the destruction.

Takedown Policy

  • The Open University takes reasonable steps to ensure that any dataset and associated metadata are an accurate and authentic output of research activity undertaken at the University, that the dataset does not breach requirements of the funding organisation, any law, and that it does not violate or infringe any copyright, trademark, patent or intellectual property right whatsoever of any person(s) or organisation.
  • Materials deposited in ORDO are made available on the terms specified by the depositor of the dataset, with the implied permission of all rights-holders, and will not be withdrawn from the archive except in keeping with archive policy or on receipt of a valid and proven complaint. Acceptable grounds for complaint include the following:​
    • Violation of intellectual property rights (including copyright);
    • Legislative breach(including personal data breach)
    • Matters of national security
    • Falsification of data or failure to follow ethical guidelines

Complaint procedure

Anyone wishing to complain on the grounds above should the following information:

  • Name and contact details of complainant
  • A reference to the dataset in question, including DOI for the relevant metadata record
  • Details of the complaint, with proof or evidence

On receipt of the complaint, ORDO support team will:

  • Make an initial judgement of the validity of the complaint
  • Withdraw the item from public view
  • Acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 4 working days.
  • Any complaints which are identified as personal data breaches will be dealt with in line with our breach procedure on the Data Protection intranet site

The complaint will then be reviewed by the ORDO Support team and other relevant University departments as necessary. If the grounds of the complaint are considered proven or plausible, the material will be permanently withdrawn from ORDO.

Once a deposited work has been removed, metadata for the deposited content will always remain to avoid loss of historical record together with a note explaining the reasons for withdrawal. The metadata of withdrawn items will not be searchable.

These policies will be reviewed every two years.

Document history

Date Version Stage Summary of changes



Initial draft

Document produced by Wendy Mears, with comments from Library colleagues



Revised draft

Incorporation of comments from Beverley Midwood (Senior Information Officer, RAS), Rebecca Goulding (Enterprise and Innovation Officer, RAS), Guy Lavender (Commercial Legal Services Adviser, Finance), Lucy Neville (Head of Information Security, IT), Sam Mansfield (University Records Manager, Library), NadineLewycky(Senior Manager, Research Strategy, RAS), Nicola Dowson (Library Services Manager, Research Support), Stephen Brett, Consultant Lawyer, Anderson Law.



Revised draft

Minor updates to storage allocations.




Approved by Research Committee.




Updated collection policy to include stand-alone deposits




OU logo updated.



Draft review by Dan Crane

Data Protection language updated.

Process for Live data updated

Minor edits to language.




Approved by Research Committee.


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