Research Data Policy of the University of Potsdam

Non-official translation of the policy ratified by Senate on September 25, 2019 and published in Amtliche Bekanntmachungen “Official Notices” Nr. 18 of 30.09.2019, pp. 1361-1362. The information regarding the novel DFG Code of Conduct in endnote iii has been added editorially. Please also read the Recommendations for the Handling of Research Data at the University of Potsdam.

The University of Potsdam, as Brandenburg's largest university, is oriented towards distinctive interdisciplinary research profiles in cooperation with a large number of non-university research institutions in the natural and human sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. In many of these areas, data are an essential basis of scientific knowledge; since 2019, data-centric sciences have been designated as one of four focus areas for research at the University of Potsdam.

Research data can be the foundation for further research as well as the transfer of knowledge and technology, including for purposes beyond those for which the data were collected. Therefore, publishing and archiving research data serve not only for the replicability and verification of earlier results but also for the finding of new results. Recent developments in good scientific practice have given rise to new requirements regarding the handling of research data. Moreover, the digital transformation in academia confronts researchers and research support staff with challenges regarding capabilities and infrastructural prerequisites for research data management. Making data publishing and research data management a self-evident part of research practice will require cultural changes.

This policy governs the handling of data that is generated, reused, or processed as part of the research methods for research projects. This includes the methods and test procedures available as data, such as questionnaires or software. It also serves to implement the "Principles for Handling of Research Data" by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany[i] and the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" signed by the University of Potsdam in 2015[ii].

This policy applies to all researchers and research support staff at the University of Potsdam. The University of Potsdam will publish recommendations on how researchers and research support staffcan comply with the requirements of this policy.

I. Principles

(1) The University of Potsdam is committed to free access to research data. Research data should be made available for reuse as openly as possible, unless interests worthy of protection predominate or legal requirements prevent their publication. Research data that constitute the basis of published results should be made accessible promptly and linked to the publication appropriately. Research data with high reuse potential should be published in a quality-assured manner regardless of their use for a text publication. In order to improve reproducibility and to acknowledge underlying academic achievements, reused data and research software should be cited.

(2) The University of Potsdam ensures the archiving of research data. Research data that constitute the basis of a text publication but are not themselves published are to be archived for at least 10 years using a suitable infrastructure. Storage of research data exclusively by the researchers themselves or the immediate deletion of the data are permissible only if interests worthy of protection predominate or legal requirements stipulate this, or in case no suitable infrastructure for archiving these data is available.

(3) The University of Potsdam recognizes the preparation of research data for reuse and the development of reusable research software as academic achievements. The same applies to contributions to the advancement of discipline-specific good practice in the handling of research data and research software. The research output of the University of Potsdam includes quality-assured data and software publications that are recognized by the respective scientific community.

(4) All researchers are responsible for complying with good scientific practice regarding the handling of research data. The relevant discipline-specific guidelines by DFG review boards and academic associations on the handling of research data are to be taken into account. The following people bear special responsibility:

1. Principle investigators, in particular with regard to a project’s documentation, openness, and reusability of research data as well as data protection.

2. Research group leaders with regard to cross-project aspects of data handling (e.g., using common standards for the quality and storage of comparable data from several studies).

(5) Research students and early career researchers are entitled to appropriate information, qualification, and support from teaching staff and supervisors. In disciplines working with data, basics of the practical handling of research data should be taught as comprehensive course content, starting at the undergraduate level. Opportunities for postgraduate training should be created for young scientists, lecturers, and supervisors.

II. Legal Framework

(1) Legally binding regulations on the handling of research data remain unaffected and take precedence over this policy.

(2) Examples of legal and university regulations which result in rights and obligations with regard to research data are:

1. Regeln zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis an der Universität Potsdam "Rules for Good Scientific Practice at the University of Potsdam”,[iii]

2. Verfahrensordnung der Ethikkommission der Universität Potsdam "Rules of Procedure of the Ethics Committee of the University of Potsdam”,[iv]

3. fundamental rights, in particular privacy rights, including data protection,[v]

4. intellectual property rights (copyright and related rights as well as patent law and related commercial rights, including regulations regarding employee inventions).

(3) Further binding regulations may result from agreements, e.g., in grant, cooperation, and license contracts. In particular, the requirements of funding bodies for the management, publishing, and archiving of research data must be met. Any restrictions on the openness and reusability of research data through contracts and other agreements that contravene the principles of this policy are to be avoided.

III. Institutional Responsibility

(1) As part of its research data strategy, the University of Potsdam commits itself to create the technical and organizational preconditions that enable compliance with this policy.

(2) The University of Potsdam initiates a cross-faculty discussion and development process on open science and the digital transformation in research, as well as on data handling competence training in teaching for degree courses and in postgraduate training.

(3) The University of Potsdam supports declarations and initiatives at the state, federal, European, and international levels that promote free access to research data, the recognition of data and software publications as research output, good practice in research data management, and good conditions for data-intensive research.

(4) The activities of the University of Potsdam in the field of research data take gender and diversity aspects into account.

IV. Validity

(1) This policy shall enter into force after the day of its publication in the Amtliche Bekanntmachungen “Official Notices” of the University of Potsdam.[vi]

(2) It will be reviewed together with the associated research data strategy of the University of Potsdam when necessary, but no later than in 2023.

 

[i] Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany. Principles for handling of research data (2010). http://doi.org/10.2312/ALLIANZOA.019

[ii] Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003). https://openaccess.mpg.de/Berliner-Erklaerung

[iii] University of Potsdam. Self-Regulation in Science - Rules for Good Scientific Practice at the University of Potsdam/ Universität Potsdam. Selbstkontrolle in der Wissenschaft - Regeln zur Sicherung guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis an der Universität Potsdam. Amtliche Bekanntmachungen der Universität Potsdam 2 (2002), S. 17–21. https://digital.ub.uni-potsdam.de/periodical/pageview/261536
Please take note of the novel DFG Code of Conduct Guidelines for safeguarding Good Research Practice of August 2019 (available in English at www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/principles_dfg_funding/good_scientific_practice/index.html) or the pending alignment of regulations at the University of Potsdam. The „Recommendations for the Handling of Research Data at the University of Potsdam“ of October 2019 already meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct in the areas of research data and research software.

[iv] Rules of Procedure of the Ethics Commission of the University of Potsdam/Verfahrensordnung der Ethik-Kommission der Universität Potsdam (2016). https://www.uni-potsdam.de/am-up/2016/ambek-2016-15-1443-1446.pdf

[v] In particular, the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Brandenburg Data Protection Act/Brandenburgisches Datenschutzgesetzes (BbgDSG) must be observed.

[vi] It was published in Amtliche Bekanntmachungen No. 18 of September 30th 2019, pages 1361–1362. https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/ambek/2019/182019-vom-30092019.html

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