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Research Data Management

What is research data?

Almost every research process in any field will produce data. They arise as by experiments, measurements, surveys, interviews as well as by digitization or source research. Therefore primary or raw data can be of varying content. There will be measurement results and analysis data with the associated programs among them just as pictures and drawings or empirical data.

Research Data


Why should research data be published?

The storage and provision of data of research projects in addition to the publication of results is becoming increasingly important:

  • Research results will be transparent and verifiable in conjunction with the data used.
  • Reuse of data is possible. Thus, duplication of effort is avoided and instead new research ideas may emerge.
  • Securing and storing primary data is in accordance with good scientific practice. A corresponding recommendation is given in the Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Also many project funders require for a data management plan and research data to be published. For example:

Data management planning

If your project involves data, then data management planning should be one of the early tasks in your project. Usually, these considerations are recorded in a data management plan (DMP). Depending on the project a DMP can vary between a few lines and a very comprehensive document. The following questions should be considered:

  • Are there any existing data that can be reused?
  • What kind of data is generated in the project?
  • How will data be organized?
  • Are there any administrative or legal aspects to consider?
  • How is the data published and made available for re-use of the community?
  • How are responsibilities defined?
  • What costs can be expected?

In Germany there are no set procedures for the preparation of a DMP yet. Two online tools have become well established internationally:

  • DMPonline:
    Provision by the UK Digital Curation Centre (DDC) with a strong focus on British requirements. But also suitable for Horizon 2020.
  • DMPTool:
    Provision by the University of California Curation Center with a strong focus on the US requirements of NSF and NIH.

Where and how can I publish research data?

Research data should be stored in a recognized repository or archiving system, provided with a persistent identifier (DOI) and metadata in accordance with the FAIR principles (“Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable”), and, if possible, made publicly available.

The FAIR Data Principles: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable
SangyaPundir, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Research data is best published in a domain specific data repository. If no suitable repository is available, you can publish to the TUHH Open Research (TORE) research data collection. For (citable) software please check out GitHub and Zenodo.

1. Domain specific repositories

2. Hamburg University of Technology: TORE

3. Software on Zenodo and Github

How can I make research data quotable?

If research data are to complement research results, they must also be reliably citable. Many repositories use a registration agency to list their content in DataCite. There a unique DOI is assigned for each data set, which will help the data set to become permanently citable and accessible.

Aberle, Christoph (2019). Mobility as a Service: ein Angebot auch für Einkommensarme? (Geo-Datensatz). TUHH Universitätsbibliothek. https://doi.org/10.15480/336.2396

Any publication in TUHH Open Research or DataCite authored by you can also be claimed to your ORCID profile.

If you have questions

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