New Practical Guide on Research Data Management by Science Europe

Science Europe has updated its “Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management” in January 2021. The guide on international research data management provides targeted guidance for organisations, disciplines and individual researchers to support the evaluation of data management plans.

The guide includes key requirements for DMPs and an assessment rubric, as well as criteria for selecting trusted repositories. This provides organisations and communities with a basis for developing data management practices and policies.

The publication has 52 pages, with a large number of tables and overviews. It was developed by experts from Science Europe’s Member Organisations – including MPG –  together with consultation by stakeholders from the broader research community (p. 5). The guide is only available in English, other European languages are not available.

The guide itself is structured into four major parts:

  • First Core Requirements for Data Management Plans: six aspects that every DMP should cover, with detailed guiding questions.
  • Second Criteria for the Selection of Trustworthy Repositories: four topics detailing criteria that every trusted repository should meet.
  • Third Guidance for Researchers: more detailed information and examples to support researchers in complying with organisational requirements.
  • Fourth Guidance for Reviewers: guidance to support the evaluation of DMPs by reviewers, aligned with the DMP core requirements presented in the previous chapter.

Also very helpful are the additional RDM templates, which Science Europe is also offering to researchers. In particular, the “Template for Data Management Plans“, a .docx file, is helpful. The same goes for “Guiding the Selection a Trustworthy Repository“, which gives an orientation for selecting a repository.

To sum up, this practical guide on research data management by Science Europe is highly recommended. Why? Because it is so short and concise and because it is clearly understandable at the same time. And because the guide is used as a reference by many other promoters, etc.

Further Reading

ERC Scientific Council (2019): Open Research Data and Data Management Plans: Information for ERC Grantees,

European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation (2020): Open Access to Publications and Data: Achievements in Horizon 2020 and Recommendations on the Way Forward,

Ibid. (2020): Reproducibility of Scientific Results in the EU: Scoping Report,