The research data management (RDM) policy contains basic statements on usage rights, data management, and the publication of research data. In addition, it regulates which rights, duties and responsibilities lie with the researchers and which with the TU Wien as an institution.
When the TU Wien adopted its "Policy for Research Data Management (RDM) at the TU Wien" in July 2018, it was one of the first research institutions in Austria to take this step. Further institutions have followed since then, others are still in the coordination process. The basis for these RDM policies is usually a model policy developed within the Horizon 2020 project LEARN. At the TU Wien, the development process of the policy was led by the TU Wien Bibliothek. The library has also prepared a broad scope of RDM activities in other areas.
Open Data: As open as possible, as closed as necessary
The policy for research data management at the TU Wien emphasises that the TU Wien recognizes the fundamental importance of its research data and their publication. Open access to research data and their description not only ensures the verification and reproducibility of research processes and results. It also offers far-reaching opportunities for scientific reuse and large-scale use of data by society. However, third-party rights, legal requirements, Rectorate decisions, other reasonable interests or property laws can preclude publication and must be taken into account in any case.
According to the policy, the essential prerequisites for the long-term use of research data are research data management, which begins in the planning phase of the scientific work, detailed documentation of the research data and their generation and processing, and compliance with the FAIR principles. The latter should ensure that the stored data are findable, accessible, interoperable and therefore reusable at a later point in time and for authorised third parties as well. As per the RDM policy, the retention period for research data at the TU Wien is at least ten years. Any deletion after this period or for legal or ethical reasons must be considered carefully and the corresponding decision needs to be documented.
Who does what?
The described responsibilities of the researchers range from deliberate data management to the preparation and updating of data management plans and the early registration of new research projects in the TISS project database. On the other hand, TU Wien as an institution is committed to providing funds and resources for research support services and infrastructures for the secure storage, recording and filing of research data and records as well as for the training and further education of employees. Additionally, the communication of proven RDM practices should be taken into account in the training of young researchers.
Shortly after the implementation of the RDM policy, the "Center for Research Data Management" of the TU Wien was founded on the initiative and with significant participation of the TU Wien Bibliothek. The Center serves as a first point of contact for researchers who have questions and concerns about RDM. In addition, the Center works with other departments at the university to develop tailored services supporting researchers in data management, and it offers training courses and workshops. The content of the training courses is adopted to the practical needs of the researchers and workshops are often organised in cooperation with other research-supporting units of the TU Wien.
The full text of the policy including an appendix with a small glossary and recommendations for open licenses as well as extensive information on the topic of research data management can be found here on our website.
Technische Universität Wien
Center for Research Data Management
Resselgasse 4 (TU Wien Bibliothek), 1040 Vienna