Research data

Research data are as diverse as the research topics and scientific fields of the University of Tübingen itself. We define research data as those digital data that are collected, created or generated in the course of scientific research activities and used as evidence in the research process.

This can be numerical data from experiments, measurements and simulations in complex table formats, but also interview data, audio and video recordings, transcriptions, source indexing, image information and much more. Thus, all materials and data that are available in digital form and used for research are suitable for long-term storage in repositories. This is independent of a possible public availability of the data (Open Data).

Research data should be stored in a secure long-term technical environment using standards and in compliance with data protection and copyright laws. The eScience Center offers support and advice in achieving this mission.

Research data management

Research data management is an essential prerequisite for the reusability and preservation of scientific data. In accordance with the recommendations of the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz), the Research Data Alliance and the E-Science Strategy of the State of Baden-Württemberg, the University of Tübingen supports the responsible and sustainable use of research data. In addition, the German Council for Information Infrastructures (RFII) describes in a position paper on research data management the urgent need to efficiently and actively address the digital transformation both in politics and science and to adapt structures, processes, but also funding and financing. This paper recommends efficient management of research data as fundamentally important and as a key to innovation ( RFII - Performance through Diversity (2016) ).

The eScience Center of the University advises scientists in all issues of research data management, in identifying and contacting subject-specific infrastructures and in integrating this topic in scientific research proposals (Data Management Plan).

The following guidelines apply to research data management:

  • In principle, the University of Tübingen encourages free access to research data, while taking into account ethical and legal requirements.
  • Research data management covers the entire life cycle of data, from project planning to data creation, data storage and metadata definition and documentation. This also includes the conscious decision as to which data from the research process is to be preserved in the long term.
  • Responsibility for research data and compliance with discipline-specific standards remains with the scientists as creators. The institutes and departments are requested to ensure responsibility for the management of research data in their areas of activity.

Karen Hanson, Alisa Surkis and Karen Yacobucci have produced a brief story on the topic of research data management, which almost every scientist has encountered at some point in his or her life and in dealing with research data. This is exactly what should not happen when a researcher applies for data exchange or expresses interest in the re-use of research data. The topics in the short video clip cover storage, documentation and file formats.

Hanson, Karen; Surkis, Alisa; Yacobucci, Karen: Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts.

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Research data repository

A system designed to store, preserve and facilitate the re-use of research data is called a research data repository. Essential components are the efficient archiving, the possibility of re-use via a detailed search and access infrastructure and the efficient administration of the digital objects provided. As a central and permanent infrastructure facility at the Information Communication and Media Centre (IKM) of the University of Tübingen, the Research Data Repository (FDAT) offers scientists at the university various services as well as the necessary infrastructure for the long-term archiving and re-use of research data.

Although this repository primarily aims to support local institutions in the humanities and social sciences, it is basically available to all scientific disciplines at the University of Tübingen.

Research Data Repository

Find and cite research data

Find research data

The DataCite Search Portal, but also Google can be used directly to search for research data. Both portals allow to identify suitable research data in different repositories via meaningful search terms or keywords. At the same time, they provide support on how these data may be used and cited in your own research work.

If you are looking for a suitable (subject) repository to publish your research data, the directory (Registry of Research Data Repositories) provides essential repositories from all scientific disciplines. You will also find FDAT, the research data repository of the University of Tübingen listed there.

Additionally, you can use the RIsources tool of the German Research Foundation to search for suitable research data infrastructures throughout Germany. 

Cite research data

Information on the appropriate citation of research data can be found, for example, at Data Cite.