As part of its core mission, “Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice.” The University’s commitment to the responsible and ethical conduct of research dictates that the stewardship of research data be handled in a thoughtful and thorough manner. Given that multiple individuals, offices, and groups are integral to ensuring thoughtful and thorough stewardship, this policy was created to facilitate clarity and consistency among all stakeholders who collect, analyze, maintain or otherwise access research data and to ensure that access to research data is achieved in ways that are appropriate and consistent with the core values of the University. Good research practices, including proper data management, should and do apply to all research conducted at Yale.
As a federally funded research institution, the University has to assert ownership over research data for projects conducted at the University, under the auspices of the University or with University resources in order to meet the requirements of research sponsors. The policy sets forth that the flow of accountability is such that researchers, as custodians of the data, are responsible to the institution for the stewardship of research data and the University is ultimately responsible to its research sponsors. The University and its researchers need to act in partnership to fulfill obligations to funders.
In addition, the policy ensures that appropriate stewardship of research data is carried out so that researchers’ rights (see Policy Section 1: Roles and Responsibilities) are protected and the University has authority to resolve disputes and can carry out investigations in the event of allegations of research misconduct.