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Research Data Management

When you are doing research, good data management practices and transparency are essential. This toolbox provides practical information and guidelines for both PhD students and researchers when working with research data.

Data archiving: mid- or long-term?

In the Data Management Plan the researcher describes if the data will be stored for the mid or the long term.
 
Mid-term archive: according to the VU RDM Policy, all publication-related data should be archived for at least ten years for verification and replication of research. For this purpose, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers researchers three options to store their data in one of the organisational repositories (DataverseNL, ArchStor or DarkStor). Other archival options may be used depending on the field of science as described in faculty data management policy documents.
 
Long-term archive: data relevant for future research should be archived for the long term. A dataset is relevant for future research when it complies with at least one of the following general criteria:
 
1. The data has a scientific or historical value
2. The data is unique
3. Others may want to reuse the data
4. The data cannot be reproduced
 
Researchers should bear in mind that when VU university archiving options are used, any costs involved in mid-term or long-term storage are covered by either the university or any other national or international archive that faculty policy prescribes they should use. Whatever archiving option is used, proper descriptions of the dataset(s) and adding metadata are important.

Deposit your data @VU Amsterdam

VU Amsterdam requests that researchers archive the data used in a publication in a repository for at least ten years after the release of the publication (see also VU Policies & Regulations). There are a lot of digital archives and many more keep appearing.

The right archival option depends on the nature of the data and the field of science as described in faculty or departmental data management policy documents. The university offers 3 different general repositories for data archiving.

On the VU intranet researchers can find all three research data archives, including a wizard that allows for easy selection of a repository that meets all the relevant criteria of privacy (sensitivity), dataset size, etc.

DataverseNL - an online platform for the publication of citable research data in a semi-open environment. DataverseNL allows users to link publications to datasets directly, and to share the data through online archives such as DANS.

Specifications:

  • For publishing research data on the internet
  • The researcher publishing the data decides whether access to the data is public or restricted
  • Not suitable for privacy or otherwise sensitive information
  • Enables researchers to publish open data according to grant providers' regulations
  • Generates a link (persistent identifier), e.g. for data citations in publications
  • Retention period is at least 10 years

ArchStor - a research data archive with a 10-year retention period. Data stored in ArchStor can only be accessed for verification purposes.

Specifications:

  • For archiving research data at the VU archive
  • Researchers can only access their data through an email request
  • Enables researchers to adhere to the VSNU Code of Conduct for Research Integrity with respect to verifiability of research
  • Not suitable for privacy sensitive information
  • No link (persistent identifier) available
  • Retention period is 10 years

DarkStor - an offline archive for storing sensitive information/data. Information is considered sensitive when it involves matters like privacy or copyright. DarkStor is only suitable for datasets that require additional security. Once archived, access to the data can only be requested by authorized individuals i.e. the original researcher or a research coordinator.

Specifications:

  • For archiving data in a secured archive
  • Suitable for privacy sensitive information
  • Researchers can only access their data through an email request
  • Conform the security norm for data protection
  • No link (persistent identifier) available
  • Retention period is at least 10 years