Framework Policy for RDM

Development of FAIR data services and Research Data Management policies critically depends on knowledge of local research data management practices. The move from generic (basic) RDM services to more focused services is predicated upon understanding the local context: What kinds of data are collected and how? How are data processed, analysed, archived or otherwise stored? What sorts of regulations (institutional or otherwise) do researchers have to obey? This process is recorded in the development strategy.

Graz University of Technology (henceforth “TU Graz”) is committed to the highest standards of research excellence and to maximising the academic and societal impact of its research and teaching. TU Graz recognizes and affirms the fundamental importance of professional and responsible research data management for maintaining the quality and integrity of research.

1. Preamble

This framework policy is motivated by the belief that good research data management (henceforth RDM for short) cultivates:

  1. Best practice for ensuring that scientific arguments are reproducible and re-usable by researchers, society and industry in the long term.
  2. Responsible performance, verification, evaluation and re-use of research through adequate documentation, preservation and availability of research data according to interoperable standards.
  3. Better exposure of the work of researchers at Graz University of Technology, leading to affirmation of the quality of the research process as a whole.
  4. Responsible managing of research data in accordance with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles, including the safe storage of personal data or protection of intellectual property developed by scientists across TU Graz.
  5. Improved practices for meeting the demands of funders and publishers with respect to research data management and sharing.

In extension of, and alignment with, existing policies on Open Access, Intellectual Property, and Research Integrity, TU Graz hence adopts the following Framework Policy for Research Data Management at Graz University of Technology. The policy serves as an overarching description of rights and responsibilities across TU Graz as a whole, and is to be complemented by faculty-specific implementation strategies which take account of particular disciplinary requirements. These faculty specific strategies will be based on a template defined by the TU Graz RDM Policy Working Group and the Rectorate. These processes will be guided by the Digital TU Graz project – Chancenfeld Forschung team.

This is an aspirational policy. Implementation will take some years, and will depend on the availability of resources.

2. Scope

This policy for the management of research data applies to all researchers working at TU Graz. In cases when research is funded by a third party, any agreements made with that party concerning intellectual property rights, exploitation rights, access rights and the storage of research data will take precedence over the provisions of this policy. The same applies to data storage in external data repositories. In particular, TU Graz strongly values its close collaboration with industry partners, and recognises that such partnerships should not be affected by this policy. This policy will be reviewed every three years under the supervision of the Vice Rector for Research and updated in collaboration with all stakeholders as necessary.

3. Rights

Intellectual property rights (IPR) are dealt with in different acts, e.g. Urheberrechtsgesetz (UrhG), Patentgesetz 1970 (PatG), Gebrauchsmustergesetz (GMG), Markenschutzgesetz 1970 or Universities Act 2002 (UG 2002) and in researchers’ employment contracts with TU Graz. Handling of IPR is also specified in additional guidelines and agreements (e.g. grant or consortium agreements) of and with TU Graz. As many different legal norms as well as contracts are involved, a general statement regarding intellectual property rights (e.g. ownership) covering each case, cannot be made. In most cases, however, TU Graz is owner of the IPR generated by its employees and TU Graz has the right to choose how the data are published and shared. Researchers are encouraged to contact F&T Haus for further advice in this regard.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

The Digital TU Graz project – Handlungsfeld Forschung team is expected to

  • Conceive and implement suitable training (courses, workshops, MOOCs, one-to-one) for researchers and students on good research data management (including legal and ethical issues) (in cooperation with the library).
  • Coordinate the creation and development of high-quality advice on research data management, including funder requirements (in cooperation with the rectorate, faculties and other university services).
  • Conceive and implement infrastructure, facilities and support for the creation of research data management plans (in cooperation with faculties and the library).

The Library is expected to

  • Provide a certified archival service that offers at least 10 years of long-term curation for research data (in cooperation with ZID and Chancenfeld Forschung team).

The ZID is expected to

  • Provide infrastructure, resources and facilities (in compliance with the FAIR principles) for collection, storage, access, sharing and archiving of research data, both internal and external (in cooperation with the library).
  • Ensure that integrity, security and if needed protection of research data is guaranteed.

F&T Haus is expected to

  • Provide advice and support on research data management requirements of funders.
  • Provide support for the creation of research data management plans.

The Rectorate is expected to

  • Be responsible for budgeting and financial planning.
  • Stimulate awareness regarding RDM practices and develop a culture which incentivizes good research data management and FAIR data practices (in cooperation with faculties).
  • Facilitate and oversee the implementation of TU Graz RDM policy as a framework for good research data management (in cooperation with faculties).

University support areas are expected to

  • Provide advice and support on legal and ethical issues (e.g. data protection) related to the collection, storage, access, sharing and archiving of research data (legal department, in cooperation with the library).
  • Support provision of suitable advice and training for researchers and students on good research data management (in-house training, in cooperation with the library).

Faculties must develop and oversee faculty-specific implementation strategies describing the roles and responsibilities of institutes, research groups and individual researchers for the following areas:

  • Collection, documentation and storage of research data during the research process.
  • Ensuring that research data supporting peer-reviewed publications are appropriately documented and shared in a research data repository in accordance with the FAIR principles for at least 10 years from the date that the research results are published, unless there are valid reasons not to do so.
  • Ensuring data management plans are written and updated in accordance with the RDM data regulations and procedures of funders and/or the faculty policy implementation strategy (including information about data collection, documentation, assignment of metadata, archiving, information about access to, storage of and destruction of data).
  • Evaluating the efficacy of the faculty implementation strategy.
  • RDM training at the appropriate-level (e.g., within faculties, institutes or doctoral schools, etc.), in line with available resources.
Framework Policy for Research Data Management at Graz University of Technology

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