NFFA-Europe Research Data Policy

Last Updated on January 11th, 2021

NFFA-Europe participates in the Open Research Data Pilot (ORD Pilot) action on Open Access to Research Data. 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.

The ORD Pilot project aims to improve and maximize access to and reuse of Research Data generated by Horizon 2020 projects and takes into account the need to balance the openness and protection of scientific information, commercialization and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), privacy concerns, security as well as issues related to data management and retention.

The beneficiaries of NFFA-Europe services (Research Users) must manage the digital Research Data generated in line with the FAIR principles and take measures to make it possible for third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate — free of charge for any user — the data, including associated Metadata, needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications as soon as possible.

The NFFA-Europe facilities will be provided with an innovative common infrastructure for the data collected by NFFA-Europe Research Users, including services for secure storage and retrieval, data sharing, data management, Metadata visualization and exploitation.

The present document follows the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020. NFFA-Europe contributes to the implementation of these Guidelines with respect to Raw Data collected by investigators in their Experiments carried out at NFFA-Europe facilities.

1. General principles

  1. The present data management policy pertains to the ownership of, the curation of, and access to Experimental data and Metadata collected during User Access activities and Joint Activities within the NFFA-Europe Infrastructure.
  2. Acceptance of this policy is a condition for the award of NFFA-Europe Transnational Access services.
    Research Users must not attempt to access, exploit, or distribute Research Data or Metadata unless they are entitled to do so under the terms of this policy.
  3. Deliberate infringements of the policy may lead to denial access to Raw Data or Metadata, and/or denial of future access to the NFFA-Europe infrastructure.
  4. All data and Metadata this document refers to, are Research Data. If Research Data involve personal and sensitive data they will be subject to the data protection legislation of the Countries in which the data and Metadata are stored.

2. Research Data and associated Metadata

  1. Treatment of Research Data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications and associated Metadata
    1. A standard set of Metadata related to each approved Proposal will be acquired centrally through the Proposal submission form on the NFFA-Europe portal and made available at different stages.
    2. Research Users must deposit Research Data and Metadata in a repository in compliance with EOSC requirements as soon as possible and at the latest on publication of the peer-reviewed scientific article relating to these data; an overview of compliant subject-specific repositories can be found at Re3data, but general open repositories such as Zenodo provide a good alternative.
    3. Raw Data stored in facilities that are part of the NFFA-Europe infrastructure are under the custody of these facilities, while NFFA-Europe is the custodian of all of associated Metadata stored on the NFFA-Europe Services according to the NFFA Metadata model.
    4. NFFA-Europe aims for a long-term period of ten years to maintain Metadata within the NFFA-Europe Services. 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 periods or Datasets in consultation with the respective communities of high data rate Instruments.
    5. Metadata of deposited data must provide information at least about the following: Datasets (description, date of deposit, author(s) Persistent Identifier); Horizon 2020 funding; grant project name, acronym and number (Nanoscience Foundries and Fine Analysis - Europe|PILOT, NEP, 101007417); ID Proposal number; licensing terms. Where applicable, the Metadata must include Persistent Identifiers for related publications and other research outputs.
  2. Access to Research Data and Metadata
    1. Access to Metadata of approved Proposals is foreseen to be via a searchable online Metadata catalogue: the Metastore. Metadata modification and requests of Dataset download will be logged.
    2. Access to the NFFA-Europe on-line Metadata catalogue will be available worldwide. This includes searching for publicly available Metadata and Datasets. For modification of Metadata the data user must be registered with the NFFA portal.
    3. Research Users must ensure Open Access — via the repository — to the deposited data as soon as possible and at the latest on publication of the peer-reviewed scientific article relating to the data, under the latest available version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public License (CC BY) or Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC 0) or a licence with equivalent rights.
    4. Research Users may protect their results opting out from the publication of their Research Data — for an appropriate period and with appropriate territorial coverage — if the results can reasonably be expected to be commercially or industrially exploited.
    5. Research Users may protect their results opting out from the publication of their Research Data — for an appropriate period and with appropriate territorial coverage — if providing Open Access would be contrary to any other constraints, in particular the EU competitive interests or the beneficiary’s obligations under this Agreement.
    6. If Open Access is not provided (to some or all data), this must be justified. The following version of this document will specify the detailed procedure and limitations of the opt out.
    7. Metadata stored in the Metastore will be accessed at any moment by privileged users (who signed non-disclosure declaration), e.g. for administrative and curation purposes.
    8. The Team Leader has the right to transfer part or the totality of his/her rights at any moment to another registered person.
    9. The Team Leader and all team members have the right to create and distribute copies of the Research Data.

3. Good practices for Metadata captures and results storage

  1. Research Users are encouraged to store and backup all their Research Data in secure places, such as the NFFA Datashare platform made available by the NFFA-Europe infrastructure.
  2. Research Users are encouraged to ensure that the Experiments Metadata are as complete as possible, as this will enhance the possibilities for everybody to search for, retrieve and interpret the data in the long term.
  3. Researchers who aim to carry out analyses of Raw Data and Metadata which are openly accessible are invited to contact the original Team Leader or his/her designate and suggest a collaboration, if appropriate. Researchers must acknowledge the source of the data and cite its unique identifier as well as any publications linked to the same Raw Data.
  4. Team Leaders and team members who carry out analyses of Raw Data are encouraged to link the results of these analyses to the Raw Data and Metadata. Furthermore, they are encouraged to make such results openly accessible.
  5. Team Leaders and team members who carry out analyses are encouraged to publish well defined Datasets, that can include both raw and analyzed Datasets, associating Persistent Identifiers with them, in order to make data identifiable and citable.