RWTH Aachen Research Data Management Guidelines


RWTH strives to make a substantial contribution to solving the great societal research questions of our time and make new knowledge accessible and useable to science and society. Managing, securing, storing and sustainably providing research data are all activities that must meet recognized standards and the highest demands. Furthermore, legal and ethical considerations and the differences between the disciplinary cultures are to be taken into account.

  1. Research data are data that are generated, gathered, observed, simulated, or derived.
  2. RWTH promotes open access to research data. However, researchers are not obligated to make their data accessible to individuals outside the project team prior to their processing, evaluation, and publication, except vis-a-vis relevant commissions. Furthermore, contractual agreements shall remain unaffected thereby.
  3. The management of research data includes their planning, recording, processing, and maintenance. It ensures access to and re-use, reproducibility, and quality assurance of research data on which scientific results are based.
  4. Project leaders and independent researchers are, as a rule, responsible for research data management in their research projects. In particular, they are obligated to ensure good academic practice and uphold disciplinary standards. The project members are responsible for the accuracy of all research data collected and for meeting all pertinent regulations.
  5. Research projects involving research data require a data management plan which regulates, among other aspects, access rights and restrictions for the research data.
  6. RWTH Aachen provides consulting services on research data management, from the planning stage through the completion of the project. Furthermore, it provides educational offerings on research data management.
  7. RWTH Aachen provides and maintains a suitable infrastructure for research data management and thus ensures that digital research data adequately stored and reliably accessible at any time. Specific requirements are to be agreed and, if necessary, funding provided.
  8. Storage and archiving of digital research data takes place using RWTH Aachen’s information and IT infrastructure or, alternatively, using recognized external and internal data repositories.
  9. In their treatment of research data, RWTH Aachen and its researchers act in accordance with ethical, data protection, copyright, and confidentiality requirements. The evaluation of research data according to the Employee Invention Act shall remain unaffected thereby.
  10. When transferring rights of reuse or publication, the research data shall remain freely accessible for scientific purposes

Status as of March 8, 2016.