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Research Data Management

Make informed choices for research data. RDM, policy, practical guidelines, software and tools at VU Amsterdam. FAIR data, archiving, storage, publication

VU General Policies and Regulations

Research data management policy
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam considers the careful handling of research data to be very important. The university has therefore formulated a Research Data Management policy which provides guidance for researchers and policy officers at VU Amsterdam.

Since the VU policy for RDM is formulated in general terms, faculties have worked out more detailed guidelines for their own faculty. These faculty-specific policies can be found below.

For RDM policies and guidelines at Amterdam UMC, location VUmc, please get in touch with Research Data Management Support at Amsterdam UMC.

Academic integrity complaints procedure
Both VU Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc employ a joint policy for the handling academic integrity complaints. This policy outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a complaint, the officers who play a role in this procedure, and what should be expected once a complaint has been lodged.

Confidential counselors
​The VU has a list of confidential counsellors who handle academic integrity issues.

Data breach incident report
​From 2016 onwards, any data security breaches (particularly those that have, or are likely to have, serious adverse consequences to the protection of personal data) should be reported immediately to the IT Servicedesk. Read the protocol reporting a data breach (available in Dutch only).

Regulations and Guidelines

Some faculties and departments have their own guidelines for RDM. You can find an overview of such guidelines below.

Ethics Committees

In cases where research involves human or animal participants, a research proposal may need to be reviewed by an ethics committee. VU and Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, have several ethics committees, which are listed below. Please note that researchers at the VU also have to go to the METc at VUmc if their research is subject to the WMO, which is not restricted to research at VUmc.

Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity

Dutch scientists are required to comply with the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (VSNU, 2018). The principles of proper scientific and scholarly research, according to the Code of Conduct are:

  • Honesty
  • Scrupulousness
  • Transparency
  • Independence
  • Responsibility
The principles of honesty and transparency state explicit guidelines on the way in which you treat your research data:
  • Honesty: you should refrain from fabricating or falsifying data
  • Transparency:
    • You should ensure that it is clear to others what data your research is based on, how the data were obtained, what the results are and how you got to these results
    • All steps in your research process must be verifiable (e.g. choice of research question, research design, methodology, sources used), so that it is clear to others how your research was conducted

To live up to these general principles, the Code of Conduct provides the following standards, which are addressed in a DMP, for good research practices related to data management:

  • Provide a description of the way in which the collected research data are organised and classified, so that they can be verified and re-used (standard 3.2.10)
  • Make research data public upon completion of your research project; if this is not possible, explain why (standards 3.2.11 and 3.4.45)
  • Describe the data you have collected and used in your research honestly, scrupulously and transparently (standard 3.3.23)
  • Manage your data carefully and store both the raw and processed versions for a period appropriate for your discipline (standard 3.3.24)
  • Contribute towards making data FAIR, where possible (standard 3.3.25)
  • Be transparent about your methods and working procedures by using e.g. research protocols, logs, lab journals or reports to describe these processes (standard 3.4.35)

Strategy Evalution Protocol

The Strategy Evaluation Protocol 2021-2027 (SEP) from the VSNU is used to assess the quality of research at Dutch universities, NWO and Academy institutes. It promotes the handling and storing of raw and processed data with care and integrity.

The SEP formulates questions on how a research institute deals with and stores raw and processed data. It also assesses the output of research institutes, including datasets, and the use of such output by peers and societal target groups.

By registering your datasets in the VU Research Portal, you contribute to an overview of datasets of your department, faculty and the VU as a whole.

NWO Data Policy

NWO aims to ensure that all the research it funds is openly accessible to everyone as part of it's Open Science policy. Researchers are therefore expected to preserve the data resulting from their projects for at least ten years, unless legal provisions or discipline-specific guidelines dictate otherwise. As much as possible, research data should be made publicly available for re-use. As a minimum, NWO requires that the data underpinning research papers should be made available to other researchers at the time of the article’s publication, unless there are valid reasons not to do so.

The guiding principle here is 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary.' Due consideration is given to aspects such as privacy, public security, ethical limitations, property rights and commercial interests. In relation to research data, NWO recognizes that software (algorithms, scripts and code developed by researchers in the course of their work) may be necessary to access and interpret data. In such cases, the data management plan will be expected to address how information about such items will be made available alongside the data.

More information on Data Management is also available on the NWO website where a NWO Data Management Template is made available. The VU Data Management template in DMP Online is certified by both NWO and ZonMW and can also be used by VU researchers for projects funded by both organizations.