Research data management
Data and software in research
Research data are an essential part of scientific work and often form the basis for important findings. Digital data cannot be processed without software. Managing data and software effectively in research is an important part of a responsible and quality-focused approach to handling research data with the objective of efficiency, reproducibility, visibility and reuse in further research. Research data management covers all activities related to research data ranging from planning the collection of data to data processing to storing or deleting your research data.
Data management and research funding
Handling data and software in a systematic and sustainable manner is central to science policy and is also a requirement demanded by major funding providers such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the European Research Council or the German Research Foundation (DFG). You are therefore often expected to describe in the funding application how you intend to handle the data you collect. Good research data management does not only prevent data loss and increase the visibility and effectiveness of your research, it also increases your chances of receiving funding.
In addition to general and subject-specific advice on submitting applications available at FAU, the FAU University Library can help you with any questions you may have regarding data management when drafting a proposal.
- DFG guidelines on the handling of research data (please note in particular the growing list of subject-specific recommendations given further down the page)
- General guidelines on data management and data management plans of EU/ERC
Processing, using and archiving data
Simply having a strategy for storing and archiving data is not enough if you want your data to be used again in future and ensure that research findings based on these data remain verifiable. Data should also be backed up with documentation and use, as far as possible, the standard format commonly used in your subject area. This is recommended in the FAIR principles, which are endorsed by the DFG, the EU and a number of other funding providers.
The amount of human and financial resources required for good, FAIR data management should not be underestimated. Funding providers often provide the option of applying directly for funding earmarked for activities such as documentation, administration, safeguarding data, storing data and publishing data and software in third-party projects when submitting a proposal.
Research data at FAU can be archived, managed and published in the RADAR repository. Please speak to your University Library contact if you are interested in using this service. If your data have to meet certain archiving or publishing requirements, the University Library will help you look for a suitable data archive and help answer any questions you may have regarding (meta) data standards.
Further information and services
- AG Digitale Forschungsdaten und -informationen (working group on digital research data and information)
- FAU’s research data policy
- DFG guidelines on handling research data
- FAIR principles
- Backup, data storage and database services offered by RRZE
- Advice on standard data, ontologies and linked data and software in digital humanities