Research Data Policy of the Otto Friedrich University Bamberg

1. Preamble

Research data are the basis of scientific research and are of great importance for science and society. Research data is data that is generated in the course of scientific projects, e.g. through digitisation, source research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews. Research data is data that is generated in the course of scientific projects, e.g. through digitisation, source research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews.

Research results must be made reproducible and comprehensible to others. This is essential for sustainable research and an integral part of good scientific practice. Potentials are opening up for researchers and at the same time new requirements are arising with regard to the responsible handling of research data.

Research data management (RDM) encompasses the organisation and management of digital research data throughout its entire life cycle, which includes the steps from planning, funding application, data collection, processing and analysis, storage, publication and reuse. The aim of sustainable research data management is to secure and make available the research data generated in the context of scientific research, taking into account the respective subject-specific guidelines and standards. 

With this policy, the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg provides its researchers with guidelines for handling research data and specifies the support services offered by the research support institutions.

This research data policy is related to the "Principles for the handling of research data" (2010) of the Alliance of German Science Organisations as well as the "Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data" (2015) and the "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice" (2019) of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Furthermore, it is based on the FAIR principles, which are an important prerequisite for the sustainable handling of research data.

It also complements the other principles of the university of Bamberg: the "Open Access Declaration" (2011) and the "Guidelines for Safeguarding the Requirements of good Research Practice at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg(189.3 KB)" (2021).

2. Scope

This policy is aimed at all researchers working at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg, who are responsible for the appropriate management of all research data generated in the course of their work. Applicable legal regulations and research ethics concerns must be observed at all phases of research data management.

If a research activity is funded by third parties and the funding agreement contains special provisions on research data management, these take precedence over the university policy.

If policies emerge within a research project that contain equivalent or stricter requirements, these also take precedence over this policy.

3. Guidelines

3.1 Legal and ethical aspects

In the context of research data management, the respective applicable laws on the protection of persons and intellectual property as well as ethical concerns must be observed.

Researchers are responsible for ensuring that the copyrights of third parties are respected. When processing personal data, data protection law and the personality rights must also be taken into account. In addition, other agreements such as funding and cooperation agreements may take effect.

When rights are transferred or licensed, care must be taken to ensure that the research data remain freely accessible for scientific purposes.

3.2 Handling Research Data

The integrity of research data must be guaranteed: Research data are to be managed correctly, completely, unaltered and reliably. Whenever possible, they should be kept identifiable, findable, interoperable and re-usable according to the FAIR principles. This must also be ensured through the use of appropriate technical systems.

If possible, the research data should be stored in redundantly secured storage systems for the duration of the research project.

Personal research data must be anonymised as soon as this is possible according to the purpose of the research. If anonymisation is not possible, pseudonymisation must be carried out. The data must be minimised to the extent necessary for the research project.

The Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg strongly recommends that all research data be provided with bibliographic, administrative and describing metadata in accordance with scientific standards to ensure discoverability, interoperability and re-usability. In most disciplines there are metadata standards that fulfil the specific requirements of the respective discipline and describe the data in terms of content. If these do not exist, generally applicable standards can be used for description.

In accordance with its Open Access Declaration, the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg encourages its researchers to make research data publicly available in established cross-disciplinary or subject-specific repositories without access restrictions, in compliance with legal requirements and restrictions. Publication should take place at the earliest possible time, to a suitable extent and under appropriate licences depending on the type of repository and the legal circumstances (e. g. Creative Commons or Open Data Commons).

If research data cannot be made openly accessible because it contains copyrighted, personal or proprietary data, it is still advisable for sustainability reasons to either publish it with the associated metadata in a restricted-access repository or archive it, if and to the extent that this is legally permissible in the individual case. Simply storing them on one’s own computer does not constitute sustainable FDM.

Long-term storage should take place in a suitable subject-specific repository or data centre or, if no such repository exists, in the university’s institutional research data repository. The retention periods for research data are based on relevant legal or contractual regulations as well as the requirements of funders. The Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg recommends permanent publication and archiving within the framework of the legal and contractual possibilities and taking into account the significance of the research data.

The citability of research data is ensured by assigning persistent identifiers. To ensure long-term readability and interoperability, it is recommended to choose open, machine-readable formats and/or formats established in the respective subject community. Furthermore, it is advisable to follow recommendations for long-term archiving formats.

Data management and data literacy skills are key qualifications of the 21st century, which is why the curricular embedding of data literacy and subject-specific research data management in teaching is recommended.

4. Responsibilities

Researchers and the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg share responsibility for the appropriate management of all resulting research data.

4.1 Responsibilities – Researchers

  1. Implement research data management in accordance with the principles formulated in this policy.
  2. Preparation of data management plans (DMP): The preparation of a DMP is an important component in dealing with research data. A DMP answers questions from the collection to the archiving and reuse of research data and thus documents its life cycle. It is therefore advisable to prepare a DMP before the start of a research project or in the application phase.
  3. Ensure re-usability: Use of the least restrictive licensing in the sense of Open Science, pro-vided there are no legal, contractual or ethical reasons against it.
  4. Listing of already published research data in the Research Information System (FIS), which also serves as university bibliography and links to publications, persons, institutions and projects.

4.2 Responsibilities – Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg

  1. The Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg is continuing to expand the information and support services offered by the central institutions in a systematic manner.
  2. In cooperation with the Department of Research Funding and Transfer (Z/FFT), the Uni-versity Library, the University Archive (Z/ARCH), the University IT-Service (ITS), the Data Protection Office and the Legal Office, the central RDM service offers organisational, tech-nical and legal support for all aspects of the research data life cycle. This ranges from the application process to questions about data storage, management, exchange and backup to publication and archiving in a suitable trustworthy repository.
  3. For researchers in whose disciplines no repositories have yet been established, the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg provides an institutional research data repository. In addi-tion, there are data journals specialising in the publication of research data.

5. Validity and Contact

The research data policy of the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg was adopted by the University Board of Management on 30.11.2022. It is regularly evaluated and adapted to current standards.

If you have any questions about research data management, please contact fdm(at)