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Guidelines for Handling Research Data

Guidelines for handling research data at Leibniz University Hannover

Please note!

The guidelines have been updated in July 2020. The english translation has not yet been approved by the official LUH translation service, so the wording might still be altered during the review process. Content and meaning, however, are definite.

Research data management support service at Leibniz University Hannover

Leibniz University Hannover is committed to the importance of research data in the process of scientific research. These guidelines and its principles are based in particular on the Alliance of German Science Organisations "Principles for the Handling of Research Data"[1] and on the DFG (German Research Foundation) "Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data".[2]

Principles for handling research data of the Alliance of German Science Organisations  
Guidelines for handling research data of the German Research Foundation  


Reliable and responsible handling of research data is indispensable for the traceability of research and the dissemination of scientific findings. Therefore, the production, processing, documentation, safeguarding, preservation and sustainable provision of research data should be maintained in accordance with the recognised standards for each discipline and be based on the FAIR Data Principles[3]. This guarantees that data and metadata are findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable. At the same time, legal and ethical requirements, as well as the differences and characteristics of the scientific disciplines must be taken into account.

LUH promotes the development of appropriate acknowledgement for its researchers, who share their high quality research data in recognised repositories and archives according to FAIR principles.

Information of the FORCE11 group on the FAIR principles


Research data refers to all data that is collected and processed during the scientific research process. It forms the basis for scientific research findings. Depending on the scientific discipline, this can include very different types of data. Leibniz University Hannover adopts the DFG's definition of research data, which includes, among others, the following types of data "measurement data, laboratory values, audiovisual information, texts, survey data, objects from collections, or samples [...]. Methodical forms of testing such as questionnaires, software and simulations may also [...] be categorised as research data."[4]

Research data management ensures the access, re-use, reproducibility and quality of research findings. It includes both the planning and the implementation of the handling of research data. The cross-linking of research data with metadata throughout the research process ensures that data can be easily found and reused. An overview of subject-specific and cross-disciplinary metadata schemas is compiled in the RDA Metadata Directory.[5]

Metadata Directory of the Research Data Alliance


  1. In accordance with the principles for good scientific practice, project directors and independent researchers are obliged to prevent data loss, to prepare and document research data for sustainable (re-)use, and to ensure its long-term preservation.[6] They are responsible for the data management of their research activities and projects and for the integrity of the data collected.
  2. Leibniz University Hannover requests its researchers to store, archive and publish research data in subject specific repositories or in the university's institutional infrastructure - provided that this complies with legal and ethical requirements. This will enable research data to be freely accessible to the public, in accordance with the Leibniz University Hannover Open Access Resolution.[7,8] They should at least be freely available for scientific use, and to ensure reusability they should be provided with an open license [9] and with a persistent identifier, e.g. DOI (Digital Object Identifier), for citation. Leibniz Universität Hannover recommends its researchers to use CC0 or CC BY licenses for the most comprehensive reuse of their work. This meets both the requirements of the Funding Bodies and the FAIR Data Principles.
  3. Leibniz University Hannover advises its researchers to develop specific guidelines for their institutes or projects, which contain more detailed rules for handling research data. They should also systematically draft and implement data management plans as part of the project planning.
  4. Leibniz Universität Hannover recommends its faculties and research schools to implement the subject-specific handling of research data in university education.
DFG guidelines for safeguarding good research practice
Open Access Resolution at Leibniz Universität Hannover
Website of TIB on open access
Creative Commons Licenses


Leibniz University Hannover supports its researchers in managing their research data by establishing a consulting and training programme that combines the expertise of the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), Leibniz University IT Services and the department for Research and Innovation Services (department 4). An institutional data repository is also provided.[10] The advisory and training services also include issues related to ethical and legal requirements. This service combines the competencies of TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, the Leibniz Universität IT Services, and the Research and Innovation Services. Up-to-date information is available on the university's research data management website

LUH's institutional data repository
Research data management support service at Leibniz University Hannover

[1]     Alliance of German Science Organisations (2010): Grundsätze zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten: (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[2]     German Research Foundation (2015): Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data: (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[3]    Information of the FORCE11 group on the FAIR principles:  (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[4]     German Research Foundation (2015): Guidelines on the Handling of Research Data , p. 1. (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[5]    Metadata directory of the Research Data Alliance:  (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[6]     German Research Foundation: (2019): Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. Code of Conduct, p. 22.  (last accessed 18 June 2020) .

[7]    Leibniz University Hannover (2011): Open Access-Resolution der Leibniz Universität Hannover. (last accessed 18 June 2020) .

[8]     Website of TIB on open access: (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[9]    Creative Commons Licenses:  (last accessed 18 June 2020).

[10]    Institutional data repossitory of LUH:  (last accessed 18 June 2020).

The research data support team is happy to answer any guideline-related questions.