The management and widespread sharing of publicly funded research data has gained significant momentum among governments, funders, institutions, journals and data service providers around the world. However, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to open research data across academic disciplines. Different disciplines produce different types of data and have various procedures for analysing, archiving and publishing it. This briefing paper presents the current state of open research data across academic disciplines. It describes disciplinary characteristics inhibiting a larger take-up of open research data mandates. Additionally it presents the current strategies and policies established by funders, institutions, journals and data service providers alongside general data policies.