Recommendations for handling research data at the University of Bamberg
Handling research data professionally and responsibly is an essential part of good scientific practice. Research-data management begins with collecting and digitalizing data and includes traceable data management during a research project as well as publishing and archiving the data. Creating data-management schemes, securing data after use and long-lasting data storage is promoted by many funding agencies. (see for example “Leitlinien zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten” [German only] der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)) Thereby, aspects of Open Access and Open Science play a key role as well.
What are research data?
Research data are data that are the result of scientific projects, e.g. digitalization, research, experiments, surveys or interviews. (see Forschungsdaten, Beschreibung des Handlungsfeldes der Allianzinitiative Digitale Information)
What is part of professional research-data management?
Research-data management includes organizing and managing digital research data, especially securing the data and making it long-term available. The individual steps in the life cycle of research data include: generating, using and analyzing the data, as well as, processing, archiving, publishing, re-using and deleting the research data. Thus, this term shows that the research data and their maintenance are of importance during all steps of a research project. (See: https://ub.fau.de/schreiben-publizieren/daten-software-forschung/forschungsdatenmanagement/ and http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/curation-lifecycle-model)
A data-management scheme is essential in dealing with research data. Hence, it is recommended to draft a data-management scheme before beginning a research project or not later than the application phase. The plan describes the whole life cycle of your data and specifies which metadata are collected.
Legal issues have to be sorted out during the processing of research data. In case the data are intellectual property of another researcher, their copyrights are to be observed. In case you generated the data, you have to decide how and in which form third parties can gain access to your data.
In case you process personalized data, you have to observe data-protection laws and personal rights. These kinds of data can only be processed, if you have a legal basis. Usually, this requires obtaining consent of the individual to process their personal data.
Why is research data stored?
Paying attention to good scientific practice is part of every research. The DFG considers storing primary data for at least ten years as part of good scientific practice.
Different funding agencies, within their funding programs, may have further or more specific requirements for storing data. Increasingly, it is expected that data, in the sense of “Open Science”, will be made publicly available for other researchers. Research data that are part of a dissertation and, therefore, necessary for verifying the research results have to be published and send to the German National Library.
How can research data be stored?
The easiest possibility to store research data is to store them on centrally provided network drives from the university. Data sets smaller than a couple of terabytes can unbureaucratically and without consultation be stored there. In case you expect larger data sets, you should contact the Rechenzentrum before your research proposal to clarify how your data will be stored. These forms of storing data require an individual system to manage the data and metadata by the researcher.
Research-data repositories are better suited for storing research data. If supra-regional repositories already exist for a subject area, it is recommended to store research data there. If supra-regional repositories do not already exist, data can be stored in the research-data information system of the University of Bamberg. This procedure offers the benefit that information on the research project and generated research data are in the same system without media disruption.
How can research data be published?
Within the open-access declaration, the university management asks researchers from the university to publish their research. Within the Open Science movement the publication of research data is highly regarded, too.
Research data can be published in external interdisciplinary or professional research repositories which are, for example, run by research institutions or companies. You will find a register on re3data.org.
Specific “data-journals” have specialized in publishing research data. Please, find an (incomplete) overview on www.forschungsdaten.org/index.php/Data_Journals
At the University of Bamberg, research data can be published on the publication server from the university.
Under which licenses can research data be published?
Which access rights can be assigned to research data?
With subject specific repositories you have to sort out all possibilities with the respective vendor.
You can assign access rights on the publication server to specific members of the University or groups of people. Furthermore, it is possible to make data publicly available without any access protection for the purpose of “Open Science”.
How do you quote research data?
The following quotation style is recommended:
Author (Publication Year): Title of the research data. Data repository or archive. Version. Persistent Identifier (preferably a link)
Further information can be found here: www.forschungsdaten.info/themen/bewahren-und-nachnutzen/zitieren-von-daten/
Which metadata are available for research data?
Metadata are additional data describing a resource (e.g. a research data set). Metadata are required to find, reference and re-use research data. Depending on the type and professional background of the research data different metadata standards exist. You can find a first overview by clicking the following link: https://www.forschungsdaten.info/themen/aufbereiten-und-veroeffentlichen/metadaten-und-metadatenstandards/.
How can research data be archived?
The German National Library takes over the long-term archiving of publically available research data that are the result of a published dissertation, like mentioned above.
The central systems of the Rechenzentrum allow, for the time being, an indefinite storage option. But that is not a long-time archiving in a narrower sense of the term. By storing data in a subject specific repository, it has to be clarified in how far a long-term archiving is part of the offer.
Digital reproductions can be stored in the long-time archive “Rosetta” of the library network of Bavaria. In that case, please, contact the university library.
Data that are classified as archive worthy under the Bavarian Archive Law (BayArchivG) and are supposed to be long-term archived at the University of Bamberg will be managed by the university archive. The university archive decides in consultation with the researcher or superior institutions, e.g. institutes or research associations, about the archive-worthiness of the research data.
How does the University support me in managing my research data?
The central and scientific institutions of the university support you over the whole life cycle of your research data. Already before a research proposal, the department for research funding and transfer (Z/FFT) consults you, among other things, on the management of research data. In the course of your research and with regard to secure and lasting storage of your data, the Rechenzentrum is your source of support. When it comes to long-term archiving, the department of the university archive (Z/ARCH) helps you with questions and suchlike. On all questions concerning publication, metadata and indexing your research data, the university library is your point of contact. Lastly, the legal department and the data-protection officer advise you on questions concerning legal or data-protection issues.