After Research

You may wish to make your data freely available after completion of a scientific project. This could also include data that did not answer your research question, but might prove useful in the future for other (unanticipated) use cases. Even “negative results” could be interesting to share. Furthermore, publishers often require data sharing for data, which are part of scientific publications. However, in some cases, data cannot be (freely) shared; e.g. this applies to personal or commercially sensitive data. The guiding principle should therefore be: “As open as possible, as closed as needed”.

The preferred way of sharing data is the deposition in a repository or data archive. Nevertheless, if work on specific project data continues after the research project itself did come to an end, data can be deposited and put under embargo. Data licences clarify how data can be re-used, and should thus always be provided. Sharing data solely via a project, departmental or personal homepage is unlikely to comply with funder and publisher expectations regarding long-term preservation, as these resources aren’t necessarily sustainable. All data should be preserved and archived beyond the lifetime of a scientific project. Funding organizations generally require that data are kept for ten years; e.g. Rules of Good Scientific Practice of the Max Planck Society and DFG Code of Conduct “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice”.

Numerous MPDL services are available to Max Planck researchers and – upon invitation – their external collaborators. Additional (more discipline-specific) ones may exist at individual institutes.

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