Research data management policy at ATB

Research data form the basis of science.

ATB acknowledges their importance and is committed to the rules of good scientific practice of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leibniz Association, as well as to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, to the Research Data Policy of the Leibniz Association and the FAIR (Findable , Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) guiding principles for scientific data management of FORCE 11.

 

A policy on research data management has been accepted by ATB's Collegium (internal advisory committee) and adopted by the Executive Board of the ATB on December 18th, 2018. It will be evaluated and if necessary updated at least every two years.

1 Preamble

The Leibniz Institute for Agriculture and Bioeconomy (ATB) as a nationally and internationally acting institute is researching at the interface of biological and technical systems. ATB’s research aims to create foundations for sustainable bio-economic production systems. We develop and integrate new technologies and management strategies for a knowledge-based, site-specific production of biomass, and its use for food, as bio-based materials and fuels - from basic research to application. 

Research data are a fundamental and integral part of the work at ATB and the subsequent value-added processes. High-quality research data are the basis for transparent and reproducible research, and the re-usability of the data independently of their original intent. They provide better visibility and effectivity in the research community as well as improve the knowledge transfer into the society.

2 Definitions

Researchers are all employees of the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), who are actively involved in research activities. This group includes graduate students and persons without direct institute affiliation, but who are engaged in ATB research projects (guest researchers).

Research data are data that are collected or generated in scientific working processes. They are usually tied to specific research questions but can be the result of different research methods, resulting in a variety of types, processing stages and formats. Examples include non-exclusively measured data, data from lab instruments, audio-video information, texts, objects and probes, as well as geo data, software, codes and questionnaires.

Research data management (RDM) comprises the planning, acquisition, processing, documentation (including structured metadata), storing, and possible deletion of research data. Also, the long-term storage, archiving and publication have to be evaluated in the RDM process. Data management plans support the steps and workflow of RDM.

3 Applicability

This policy aims at all researchers at ATB (see definition above). Guests and partners in collaborations are expected to respect this policy, unless requirements of funding agencies have priority.

The ATB is committed to the Principles of Good Scientific Practice of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leibniz Association, as well as the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities and the policies of the Leibniz Association on Research Data (currently only available in German).

4 Rights on data

Legal aspects, such as copyright, ancillary copyright, database rights, privacy protection as well as secrecy requirements and intellectual property rights have to be regarded prior to planned data publications. Specific usage and exploitation rights are defined by the ATB employment contracts and labour agreements. Third party rights are defined in collaborative agreements and memoranda of understanding.

5 Handling of research data

The ATB is committed to open access to and long-term storage of research data from research projects that were supported by public funds. 

Research data and corresponding metadata are stored and archived in the ATB-internal IT infrastructure. To ensure high-quality data, complete, properly formatted and quality-controlled data have to be provided by the researchers, documented with structured metadata. With respect for a possible re-use of the data, the ATB requires that research data follow the FAIR Data Principles being findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. 

Long-term storage of research data at ATB is provided according to the Guidelines of Good Scientific Practice and possible requirements by funding agencies for a minimum of 10 years after data publication or project ending.

After the long-term storage period or because of legal aspects, research data can be deleted following contractual or ethical rules. Guidelines of funding agencies and collaborative partners have to be respected. Deletion of research data has to be document accordingly. 

The ATB is supporting its researchers in the necessary steps to publish research data from publicly funded projects. An independent, citable data publication or article supplement publication must be considered individually for each project; for this purpose, suitable repositories and journals must be identified. Publication of research data should follow timely and be accompanied with the choice of usage licences, like Creative Commons. In specific cases, data publication can be hold back (embargo times) to ensure proper scientific evaluation of the research data and publication of the scientific findings for the involved researchers. 

The ATB will consider options to make research data from past projects publicly available.

Responsibilities and duties

Each research project should be accompanied by a data management plan (DMP) covering the whole research data lifecycle. The DMP contains contextual information like project goals and funding agency, as well as type and volume of research data and responsibilities for storage, quality control, licencing, re-usability and publication strategy. The DMP is updated continuously during a project.

Responsible for RDM are the group leaders and primary investigators of research projects. They support their teams during data creation, processing, documentation and publication by ensuring proper working conditions. Individual aspects of the RDM are discussed with the privacy protection officer and the IT department at the ATB and documented in the DMP.

Researchers should include data publication in the project planning as well as access and usage rules by proper choice of licences. ATB-internal rules define the storage places, archiving and deletion rules. Workflows have to be planned accordingly, to allow compliance with the Guidelines of Good Scientific Practice and state-of-the-art community standards. 

The ATB is supporting the researchers with the implementation of RDM and the legal aspects by providing internal (IT-) infrastructure and services to ensure data access during and after project lifecycles in accordance with funding requirements. 

Furthermore, the ATB is committed to enable the participation of researchers, including graduate students, in training opportunities on research data management and supports internal processes with the supply of information and templates.

7 Ratification and validity

This policy has been accepted by the Kollegium (internal advisory committee) and adopted by the Executive Board of the ATB on December 18th, 2018 and will be evaluated and if necessary updated at least every two years.

Contact: Matthias Senft - Research data management ATB

Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V.
Max-Eyth-Allee 100 · 14469 Potsdam · Germany
Tel. +49 (0)331 5699 0 · E-mail atb@atb-potsdam.de