Research data is the name given to data that is generated during a research process or is part of the research results. Handling research data in a sustainable and open way promotes the transparency, reproducibility and reuse of results and plays a role in safeguarding good academic practice. Responsible research data management is therefore beneficial to both researchers and potential subsequent users, making a significant contribution to the acquisition and dissemination of research insights.
What is Research Data?
As a researcher, you use data for your work or produce your own data, from which you derive your research findings. Measurement results, text editions, results from surveys, databases, field notes, software – research data is just as varied as the academic disciplines and methods in which it is generated. You should use secure technology to store your research data in the long term, making sure that you comply with data protection regulations. It is up to you as the expert to decide which of your digital materials and data are suitable for long-term storage – regardless of whether you intend to publish them.
Why Publish Research Data?
- Publishing research data improves your eligibility for funding. Unless there are important reasons against doing so, many external funding bodies now expect their scholars to publish research data.
- You boost your international visibility and reputation. Data publications can play an important part in your individual performance as a researcher. Provided with a permanent identifier such as DOI (digital object identifier), they appear on publication lists and can be cited.
- Some scientific journals accept articles only if you also publish the corresponding data.
- It makes your research transparent and reproducible: it allows other researchers to understand the research process and verify your results. Other researchers can make use of your data. They cite your research results and can arrive at interesting new conclusions.
Why Research Data Management?
Appropriate handling of research data is an important mark of quality in your academic work. The guidelines issued by funding organisations and rules governing good academic practice enforce a systematic and sustainable handling of research data.
The four FAIR Principles can serve as a guideline:
Only by storing research data in a structured way and with metadata can it be retrieved and used by others.
National Research Data Infrastructure
Germany is currently establishing a coordinated nationwide infrastructure for research data. The National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) aims to systematically manage, standardise and secure research data stocks in the long term and make them available for subsequent use. NDFI consortia bring together experts from academia, infrastructure facilities and specialist associations. An NFDI directorate will be responsible for pooling and coordinating the new network of NFDI consortia. The German Research Foundation is creating the NFDI in stages in three rounds of calls for proposals. Driven by the scientific community and users, consortia have already formed for a wide range of disciplines and published letters of intent for proposal submissions. Funding for the first ten consortia is planned from summer 2020. The NFDI consortia should be dynamic and remain open to accept new participants.
Research Data Management Service
We offer you both individual advice and subject-specific information events on the subject of research data – please contact us or send us an email.
- Initial information: what is meant by research data?
- Why should I secure and publish my research data?
- What are the FAIR Principles and why should I adhere to them?
- Guidelines from funding bodies on how to handle research data
- Preparation of data management plans
- Training and information events
- Repositories and identifiers: where can I publish my data so that colleagues can find it and it is always available for citation?
- FAIR Principles: how do I structure data and metadata in such a way that it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable?
- Copyright and data protection: which data am I allowed to publish and under which conditions?
- Licences: which rights of use do I want to grant?
- Subsequent use: where do I find research data in my subject and how do I cite it?
- Open Science Office at Leipzig University Library
- re3data.org: Registry of Research Data Repositories. Lists research data repositories worldwide, also searchable by subject
- forschungsdaten.info: comprehensive information, developed from the Baden-Württemberg project bwFDM-Info
- Handbuch Forschungsdatenmanagement, ed. Stephan Büttner, Hans-Christoph Hobohm and Lars Müller, Bad Honnef 2011
- forschungsdaten.org: wiki of the German-speaking research data community
- DFG guidelines on handling research data
- Horizon 2020 Online Manual
- Data management plans: examples for different subjects and templates
Events and News
In cooperation with Leipzig University Library, the organisation DINI/nestor AG Forschungsdaten invites interested parties to the workshop Zertifizierung von Forschungsdatenrepositorien – Wege, Praxiserfahrungen und Perspektiven (“Certification of Research Data Repositories – Approaches, Practical Experience and Perspectives”) on 5 March 2020 in Leipzig.
The workshop will provide a brief overview of the certification landscape for (research data) repositories and introduce two common certification procedures: the CoreTrustSeal and the nestor Seal. This will be followed by approaches to the certification of services in the context of the National Research Data Infrastructure and the FAIR Principles as well as field reports.
“Have my field notes been backed up?” – “What do others need to know about my interviews in order to use the transcripts for their own research?” These and similar questions were asked by students in a seminar at our university’s Department of Anthropology. In the course Transition Towns & Visuelle Ethnographie, led by Christian Löffelsender and Carola Mohn, one session was devoted to the subject of research data.
On 19 September 2019, the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) hosted Saxony’s first research data management conference, which was entitled “Research Data in Saxony: Planning – Organisation – Reuse”. In addition to presenting and discussing best practice examples, the event focused on knowledge transfer between Saxon research and cultural institutions.