Handling of Research Data


DFG supports plans for legislation on research data. more

One essential component of quality-oriented, compatible research is that the data a research project is based on or generates is handled in a way that is appropriate to the subject-specific discipline. For this reason, the handling of research data and the objects on which the data is based have to be carefully planned, documented and described. Wherever possible it is important to enable subsequent use of the research data and potentially also the objects by other users. Subject-specific recommendations regarding standards, methods and infrastructures should be taken into account.

Checklist for the appropriate handling of research data in connection with DFG projects

This questionnaire will help you plan and describe the handling of research data in connection with your project.

Research data includes measurement data, laboratory values, audiovisual information, texts, survey or observation data, methodological test procedures and questionnaires. Compilations and simulations can likewise constitute a key outcome of academic research and are therefore also included under the term research data. Research data in some subject areas is based on the analysis of objects (such as tissue, material, rock, water and soil samples, test specimens, installations, artefacts and art objects), so it must be handled just as carefully and consideration must be given to a technically adequate option for subsequent reuse whenever appropriate and possible. The same applies if software is required for the creation or processing of research data.

For this reason, the DFG expects research projects to include a description of how research data is handled. The description should be based on the checklist for handling research data (to the questionnaire ). The recommendation is that contact should be established as early as possible during the project planning phase with a research data centre or repository where the research data can be deposited (to RIsources and re3data). The description of how research data will be handled is included in the review and also forms part of the reporting obligation after completion of the project. Costs incurred for the project-specific handling of research data should be requested in connection with the project ("Resources available"). Specific funding instruments are available to you if you are able to contribute to the establishment and expansion of research data infrastructures or to tools and methods in the area of research data management ("Infrastructure funding"). Making research data available, developing methods and standards and building data infrastructures are important contributions to the re-use of research findings as well as integrated part of the good research practice and should be listed as part of a researcher’s preliminary work or academic profile.

Further Information

  • Archive (other recommendations for handling research data)


  • Dr. Johannes Fournier (National Research Data Infrastructure I Scientific Library Services and Information Systems)
  • Dr. Lina Wedrich (National Research Data Infrastructure I Scientific Library Services and Information Systems)




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