NFFA-Europe Research Data Policy

Last Updated on April 4th, 2022

 

1. General principles

2. Purposes

3. Definitions

4. Coverage

5. Policy Statements

5.1 Data management

5.2 Access to Research Data and Metadata

6. Roles and responsibilities

 

1. General principles

  • 1.1 The present Research Data Policy covers ownership, curation and access to Research Data and Metadata collected during Transnational Access activities, in-house research and Joint Activities within the NFFA-Europe PILOT project.
  • 1.2 NFFA-Europe PILOT project participates in the Open Research Data Pilot (ORD Pilot) action on Open Access to Research Data, therefore supports the integrity, transparency and openness of research, in a timely and responsible manner.
  • 1.3 The obligations of the NFFA-Europe PILOT project as a participant in the ORD Pilot are set out in Article 29.3 of the Grant Agreement.
  • 1.4 The present document follows the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020.
  • 1.5 Open Access to Research Data refers to the practice of providing online access to Research Data that is free to the end user and reusable.

2. Purposes

  • 2.1 This policy aims to ensure that Research Data generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project are managed and made accessible for use and reuse according to the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020.
  • 2.2 This policy aims to ensure the continued availability of data of lasting value for research, education, and for wider exploitation by individuals, governments, businesses or other organisations.
  • 2.3 This policy aims to articulate the responsibilities of all Recipients to Research Data.
  • 2.4 This policy aims to assist Research Users and all researchers affiliated with a Beneficiary or a Third Party who perform activities related to NFFA-Europe PILOT project to fulfil their responsibilities with respect to the storage and retention of Research Data and Metadata associated with, and arising from, their research activities in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project.
  • 2.5 This policy aims to provide guidance on existing good practices for producing FAIR Data.
  • 2.6 This policy aims to inform all the NFFA-Europe Recipients about the data management tools made available by NFFA-Europe.

3. Definitions

Beneficiary: legal entity part of NFFA-Europe research infrastructure that signed the Grant Agreement with the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and which therefore undertakes to complete the actions envisaged in the funded project within the terms (temporal and legal) provided for.

Data Management Plan (DMP): a formal document that outlines what to do with data during and after a research project. It describes the type of data that will be used for research, how this data is collected, organised, and stored, and in which formats. It details how data will be accessible and documented for sharing and reuse during and after the project is finished.

Data Repository: an operational information system for managing and organising digital resources, particularly suitable for Datasets or Publication Data which are not likely to be altered again. The Data Repository contains Metadata about the Datasets, as well as given rules for data access. A Data Repository may be associated with a certain Institution or a group of them, or a certain Instrument or a group of them, or may be run by a third-party. Data Repositories may or may not be directly used by Research Users.

Head of Laboratory: person who has the overall responsibility of technical, scientific and administrative operations of the laboratory/research group. She/He is responsible for assuring that the laboratory complies with EU obligations and regulations concerning research data. This person is usually someone that is experienced with one or (possibly) more of the techniques offered, and should have a clear knowledge of the data produced and how this data is handled during the research process. Each Laboratory may have one or more Head of Laboratories.

Metadata: set of descriptive, structural and contextual information describing the context, content and structure of Research Data and/or Datasets and their management through time. It describes information pertaining to research projects, including (but not limited to) the context of the Experiment, the Research Users, the Data Analysis methods, and other logistical information. Metadata may include descriptions of how data and files are named, physically structured, and stored.

Metadata Standard: a Metadata Schema that fulfils the needs of a scientific community, has obtained consensus, and has been ratified as a standard by some official bodies, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative or the NeXus Data Format. A Metadata Standard describes the information and the terms needed to properly define specific data and it favours interoperability.

Publication Data: Dataset(s) generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project needed to validate the results presented in a Scientific Publication or appearing in it. Publication Data include Raw Data, Analysed Data and all the relevant Metadata on Measurement and Data Analysis to validate them.

Recipient: Research User or researcher affiliated with a Beneficiary or a Third Party who performs activities related to the NFFA-Europe PILOT project.

Research Data: information (particularly facts or numbers) collected to be examined and considered and to serve as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation in a research context. Examples of Research Data include statistics, results of Experiments, Measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images. Raw Data and Analysed Data are particular types of Research Data.

Research User: person who, after the approval of a Proposal, conducts an Experiment on one or more Laboratories using one or more Instruments in order to collect and analyse Research Data, or is interested in data collected or analysed by other Research Users on the same or other Laboratories. A Research User may be assigned with a role, e.g. Team Leader and Team Members.

Result: any (tangible or intangible) output of the Project such as data, knowledge, or information — whatever its form or nature, whether it can be protected or not — that is generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project, as well as any rights attached to it, including intellectual property rights.

Scientific Publication: any of the following contributions, peer-reviewed or not: article in a scientific journal (and related supporting information), monograph, book or book chapter, conference proceedings and ‘grey literature’ (i.e. informally published material not having gone through a standard publishing process, e.g. reports and highlights).

Other terms used in this policy are defined in the glossary available at https://www.nffa.eu/apply/data-policy/glossary.

4. Coverage

  • 4.1 This policy applies primarily to the Research Data generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project (Raw Data or Analysed Data), including associated Metadata, needed to validate the Results presented in a Scientific Publication or appearing in it. These are hereinafter referred to as Publication Data.
  • 4.2 This policy applies to Research Data and Metadata collected and generated by Research Users during Transnational Access to NFFA-Europe research infrastructure.
  • 4.3 This policy applies to Research Data and Metadata collected and generated by researchers affiliated with a Beneficiary or a Third Party within NFFA-Europe PILOT Joint Activities.
  • 4.4 This policy applies to Research Data and Metadata collected and generated by researchers affiliated with a Beneficiary or a Third Party while performing in-house research related to the NFFA-Europe PILOT project.

5. Policy Statements

  • 5.1 Data Management
    • 5.1.1 Before the publication of any Research Data and/or before welcoming the first Research User in the Laboratory, each Head of Laboratory that operate within NFFA-Europe research infrastructure must draft a DMP (Lab-DMP) related to the management of the Research Data produced in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project.
    • 5.1.2 The Heads of Laboratory must update the Lab-DMP whenever needed.
    • 5.1.3 The Lab-DMP must be drafted and updated using the Data Stewardship Wizard tool, available to Beneficiaries and Third Parties at https://dsw.nffa.eu.
    • 5.1.4 The Lab-DMPs of every Laboratory integrate and extend the general NFFA-Europe PILOT Data Management Plan (NEP-DMP).
    • 5.1.5 In case of discrepancy or disagreement between the Lab-DMP and the NEP-DMP, the NEP-DMP shall prevail.
    • 5.1.6 The Lab-DMPs of the Laboratories will be made available to Research Users at https://www.nffa.eu/about/data-management/data-management-plan/.
    • 5.1.7 Recipients are strongly recommended to use Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) if the Institution provides one, in order to facilitate good data management practices, data and documentation sharing among researchers, prove provenance and protect from data loss.
    • 5.1.8 Recipients are recommended to describe accurately and completely the Research Data generated in the project intended to become part of a Scientific Publication, specifically considering functionality such as data findability, interoperability and reusability. If existing, the use of a formal Metadata Standard is recommended. An overview of existing Metadata Standards organised by discipline can be found on the Research Data Alliance’s Metadata Standards Directory (http://rd-alliance.github.io/metadata-directory/), on the Digital Curation Center website (http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/metadata-standards) or on FAIRsharing.org (https://fairsharing.org/standards). NFFA-Europe recommends using NeXus format or the general DataCite and Dublin Core Metadata Standards. Where no appropriate and formal Metadata Standard exists, writing “readme” style metadata is an appropriate strategy.
    • 5.1.9 Recipients are recommended to store and backup all the Research Data generated in NFFA-Europe PILOT project in secure places, such as the NFFA Datashare platform (https://datashare.nffa.eu), a file sharing and collaboration platform hosted on servers under NFFA custody.
    • 5.1.10 Research Users are invited to take advantage of the platforms and data and metadata management tools made available by NFFA-Europe PILOT project.
  • 5.2 Access to Research Data and Metadata
    • 5.2.1 Recipients must examine the possibility of protecting their Results in case these are reasonably expected to be commercially or industrially exploited (article 27 of the Grant Agreement).
    • 5.2.2 Recipients must consider “Publication Data” any Research Data generated in the project (Raw Data and/or Analysed Data), including associated Metadata, needed to validate the Results presented in a Scientific Publication or appearing in it; Metadata has to include information about any other tools and instruments needed to re-use or validate the data (e.g. specialised software or software code, algorithms and analysis protocols).
    • 5.2.3 Recipients must convert, if needed, the Publication Data to a file format that can be opened with an open-source — or at least free — multi-platform software and make it possible for third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate it free of charge.
    • 5.2.4 Recipients must choose an appropriate OpenAIRE compatible Data Repository to deposit Publication Data. It can be a discipline-specific Data Repository, an institutional one, or a multi-disciplinary open repository like Zenodo (https://zenodo.org/). Data Repositories compatible with OpenAIRE can be browsed here: https://explore.openaire.eu/search/find/dataproviders?datasourcetypeuiname=%22Repository%22.
    • 5.2.5 As soon as possible and at the latest by the date the Scientific Publication is published, Recipients must deposit the Publication Data in the chosen Data repository.
    • 5.2.6 At the latest by the date the Scientific Publication is published, Recipients must ensure Open Access to Publication Data via the Data Repository.
    • 5.2.7 Publication Data must be published using the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public Licence (CC BY) or Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC 0) or a licence with equivalent rights.
    • 5.2.8 Recipients must identify the deposited data by indicating in the deposition at least the following descriptive metadata:
      • Brief description, Date of deposit and Author(s) of the Dataset
      • Funding: “Horizon 2020”
      • Grant project name, acronym and number: "Nanoscience Foundries and Fine Analysis - Europe|PILOT, NEP, 101007417"
      • Licensing terms: CC BY, CC0 or a licence with equivalent rights
      • Proposal ID number (if applicable)
      • PID of related publications and other research outputs (if applicable).
    • 5.2.9 Recipients are encouraged to provide - where possible - the tools and instruments needed to re-use or validate the data (e.g. specialised software or software code, algorithms and analysis protocols) - via the Data Repository or by other means.
    • 5.2.10 Anybody reusing Publication Data must comply with the indicated licensing terms and are invited to cite the unique identifier as well as any Scientific Publications linked to the same Publication Data, if available and appropriate.

6. Roles and responsibilities

  • 6.1 NFFA-Europe research infrastructure is responsible for providing appropriate support, advice and guidelines for the management of Research Data and the drafting of Lab-DMPs (see 5.1.1).
  • 6.2 NFFA-Europe research infrastructure is responsible for disseminating this policy and notifying all Recipients when a new version is released.
    6.3 NFFA-Europe research infrastructure is the custodian of all the Research Data and Metadata stored in the platforms and tools made available by the project and used in the services offered as Virtual Access.
  • 6.4 The Heads of Laboratory of each Institution have the responsibility to ensure that the Lab-DMP is drafted, updated and adhered to throughout the project lifecycle.
  • 6.5 Recipients have the responsibility to ensure that Research Data management and Open Access requirements described in chapter 5 of this policy are observed during and after the end of their research proposal.
  • 6.6 Each Institution part of NFFA-Europe research infrastructure is the custodian of the Research Data and Metadata generated by facility-maintained systems during NFFA-Europe-funded Experiments.
  • 6.7 Acceptance of this policy is a condition for the award of NFFA-Europe Transnational Access services.
  • 6.8 Deliberate infringements of this policy may lead to denial of access to Research Data and Metadata, and/or denial of future access to the NFFA-Europe research infrastructure.
  • 6.9 NFFA-Europe research infrastructure is responsible for a long-term period of ten years to maintain Research Data and Metadata within the platforms and tools made available by the project. The actual retention period will depend on the type and volume of data and the economic consequences associated with long-term data storage. Thus, NFFA-Europe reserves the right to reduce the retention period in consultation with the respective Beneficiaries in charge of it.

DATA MANAGEMENT