Guidelines and Recommendations

Recommendations on the handling of research data exist from various sides and with varying degrees of commitment.

Politics and science

In 1998, the DFG provided the basis for establishing sustainable research data management in Germany with its memorandum on "Safeguarding Good Research Practice". With "Recommendation 7: Safeguarding and Retaining Primary Research Data", it provided initial food for thought on the more professional handling of research data. The memorandum was updated in 2013 and replaced by the code "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice" in 2019. The DFG also adopted separate guidelines on handling research data in 2015.

In Germany, a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) is currently being established, which envisages a distributed approach with various competence centers. This recommendation originates from the Council for Information Infrastructures (RfII) and was officially adopted in 2018 by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) of the federal and state governments.

At the European level, the "Open Research Data Pilot" introduced by the European Commission in Horizon 2020 is the main driver for open, post-usable research data.

1998 Recommendations for safeguarding good resaerch practice DFG  
2003 Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities Leading scientific organizations  
2009 Recommendations for secure storage and availability of digital primary research data Committee on Scientific Library Services and Information Systems  
2010 Principles for the Handling of Research Data Alliance of Science Organizations  

Gesamtkonzept für die Informationsinfrastruktur in Deutschland

Kommission Zukunft der Informationsinfrastruktur on behalf of the GWK

2012 Empfehlungen zur Weiterentwicklung der wissenschaftlichen Informationsinfrastruktur in Deutschland bis 2020

German Science and Humanities Council

2013 Recommendations for safeguarding good research practice (updated) DFG  
2014 Management of research data - a key strategic challenge for university management University Rectors' Conference  
2014 E-Science Strategy of the State of Baden-Württemberg MWK Baden-Wuerttemberg  
2015 Guidelines on handling research data DFG  
2016 Proposal for the establishment of a National Research Data Infrastructure Council for Information Infrastructures (RfII)  
2018 Agreement on the establishment of a National Research Data Infrastructure Joint Science Conference (GWK) of the Federal and State Governments  
2019 Guidelines for safeguarding good research practice (Code of Conduct) DFG  



2011 Basic Requirements for Research Infrastructures in Europe European Science Foundation  
2014 Launch of the Open Research Data Pilot with the current research framework program of the European Union, Horizon 2020 European Commission  
2016 European Cloud Initiative European Commission  

Journals and publishers

Individual publishers have introduced data policies for journals. They regulate what should happen to the data on which a submitted publication is based. The recommendations range from softly-worded to requirements to make the underlying data accessible to others. If you are free to choose where to publish your data, you can use OPARU free of charge as a member of Ulm University.

Specialized disciplines

Disciplines also adopt recommendations on how to deal with research data. A first orientation for such recommendations can be the compilation on the DFG website on research data.

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Dominik Seemann