Data management policy for research infrastructures

Research infrastructures should have a research data management policy that offers guidelines to staff and users and ensures the appropriate management of the data. This entails having clear instructions on how and where the produced data can be preserved for reasonable periods of time and on how users should make the data available for verification and (re)use.1 Data produced by the research infrastructure should aim to be FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

Briefly outline the main principles of your data management policy with the headings below (where relevant). The policy may be no more than five (5) pages long. The font size should be 12 pt, line spacing 1.15 and margins 20 mm. The use of figures and tables to clarify text is recommended.

General description of data

  • What kinds of data are produced by or associated with the research infrastructure?
  • What ethical guidelines are in place for produced data, such as personal or sensitive data?
  • Give a rough estimate of the size of the data produced, for example per day, month or year, if you provide data storing facilities.
  • What kinds of data quality control procedures are used or recommended to users?

Agreements on rights of use and licences

  • Who owns and administers the data? How are ownership and user rights agreed?
  • Who has the right to use the data?
  • What kinds of guidelines on licences do you give users? What licence(s) do you recommend for data sharing?

Opening or sharing data

Describe the guidelines you give users on the following issues:

  • What part of the data can be made openly available or published?
  • Where can the data, or their metadata, be made available?
  • How should the research infrastructure be cited?

Documentation and metadata

  • What kinds of tools and guidance do/will you provide for data documentation and metadata?
  • Does your infrastructure produce standardised metadata?
  • If the users produce metadata, how do you support standardised metadata production?
  • Do you provide a unique and persistent identifier (e.g. Digital Object Identifier (DOI)) to datasets?

Storage, backup and access control

  • Do you provide services for data storage or backups?
  • Do you provide services for storing sensitive data?
  • How do you control access to data storage?
  • What kinds of guidelines do/will you provide for long-term preservation of data?
  1. European Commission, (2016) European Charter for Access to Research Infrastructures – Principles and Guidelines for Access and Related Services (Chapter 4 – Principles, pp. 10–11).

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