What Is Required?


In science policy debates, there are increasing calls for the sustainable safeguarding and free accessibility of research data. An increasing number of public funding bodies expect that researchers make their data freely accessible.

EU project proposals, for example, must include a data management plan. Several publishers expect that research publications are complemented by the underlying research data which is to be made freely accessible.

The requirements from research funding institutions and publishers are described in the relevant “data policies” or other guidelines. Data policies typically focus on the safe storage, sustainable archiving, publication, identification, appropriate citation, and transparency of research data.

RWTH has published guidelines on the management of research data, which are available for download. Below, we present you with short summaries of the research data policies and requirements of selected publishers and funding bodies.

Institution Requirements Further Information
German Research Foundation DFG

The DFG guidelines on research data management provide useful advice on project planning, the application process, and the provision and safeguarding of data.

DFG Guidelines on Research Data Management (de)
European Union

The European Commission has published the “Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020” and introduced a pilot measure for research data management, the so-called Open Research Data Pilot, which is relevant for seven research areas.

Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020
German Rectors' Conference HRK

The HRK has published recommendations for University executives, detailing how to give direction to the development of research data management. The brochure presents the developments and challenges from an organizational perspective and provides concrete instructions. Thus it offers guidelines for the development of RDM at universities and university consortia.

Wie Hochschulleitungen die Entwicklung des Forschungs-datenmanagements steuern können. Orientierungspfade, Handlungsoptionen, Szenarien

Many publishers expect that academic journal articles are submitted – and published – together with the relevant research data. Typically, the publishers provide instructions for authors, such as the publication guidelines offered by the Nature Publishing Group.

Publication Guidelines of the Nature Publishing Group

Funding Programs of the Federal and State Governments

Typically, the individual funding programs offer leaflets with information on desired or required research data management practices.

Checkliste zur Erstellung eines Datenmanagementplans in der empirischen Bildungsforschung (de)

BMBF: Empfehlungen zu Strukturen, Prozessen und Finanzierung des Forschungsdatenmanagements (de)

German Council of Science and Humanities WR

In its recommendations on good academic practice, the German Council of Science and Humanities makes a case for a structured approach to the management of research data.

Empfehlungen zu wissenschaftlicher Integrität (de)
National Science Foundation

Since 2011, all NSF project proposals must include a so-called Data Management Plan, DMP for short. The applying researcher or institution must provide an overview of measures in place to secure an appropriate documentation, publication, and archiving of generated research data. For details, please refer to the NSF Data Sharing Policy.

NSF Data Sharing Policy



Data Sharing

Unlike articles, book publications and conference contributions, research data are not always considered publishable. But there are several reasons to share research data:

Benefits for Reseachers

Transparency and visibility: if the published research data are clearly associated with a researcher, they draw attention to the researcher’s output and, possibly, generate citations as well as requests for collaboration.

Follow-up use: The data can be used in the context of other research projects. Well-documented archived data allow efficient access and may provide the basis for new projects as well as synergy effects.

Further Informationen on Data Sharing