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Research Data Management

The European Commission is adopting the principles of research data management in its expectations of how research is to be conducted for projects funded under Horizon 2020. This is part of a desire to encourage the preservation and re-use of research data that has continued value after the completion of any project. To this effect, the EC has introduced a voluntary 'Open Research Data Pilot' scheme where some schemes are 'opted in' by default (further details of those schemes found on the OpenAire website). If a coordinator/principal investigator opts out of a defaulted opted in scheme they must give a valid reason. Further information on the 'Open Research Data Pilot' is given below.

Update: from 2017 the default option for all H2020 calls will be 'opt in' and all projects will be asked to produce a DMP even where they will not participate in the Open Research Data Pilot. See: Update to Open Research Data Pilot: mandatory requirements from 2017

Key points:

  1. Where participating in the 'Open Research Data Pilot' scheme all projects require a mandatory formal Data Management Plan (DMP) to be put in place; those not opting in to the scheme can also submit a DMP.
  2. First versions of a DMP are expected to be submitted as a deliverable within the first six months of a project.
  3. Such plans must outline the creation and use of raw research data during a research project.
  4. Intended data types and standards must be indicated.
  5. DMPs are intended to match the needs of a project as it develops. Some may mature quickly. Others may involve further iterations which may be seen as additional deliverables
  6. Steps to maximise access and re-use of data and related research materials produced during the research project must also be clear.
  7. Steps to create and preserve any documentation (metadata) that aids understanding of the materials must also be included.
  8. Wherever possible, data must not only eventually be deposited in a research archive but information that allows access and re-use of this material must be provided.

For more information please see the European Commission's 'Guidelines on Data Management in Horizon 2020' (PDF) and the Research Data Oxford site.