Research Data


What is research data? What services for working with research data are available at the university? This page gives an initial overview of the topic. In addition to formal guidelines, we have also collected some frequently asked questions below.

Research Data

Research data include measurement data, laboratory results, audio-visual information, texts, survey data, objects from collections, or samples that are created, developed or evaluated in scientific work. Methodological test procedures, such as questionnaires, software and simulations can also be included under the term research data. [1]

Research data, die auf RosDok veröffentlicht sind, finden Sie auch im Catalogue.

Research Data Management

Research data management (RDM) refers to the activities associated with publishing research results: creating, editing, archiving, and publishing data. [2]

A comprehensible, structured approach to handling research data is essential for research operations and is part of the rules for ensuring good scientific practice and avoiding scientific misconduct at the University of Rostock.

To ensure the success of research data management, we recommend creating a data management plan (DMP). For further information, please refer to our page Organising Research Data.

For students, there is a self-study unit on research data management as an introduction to the topic of research data.

Research Data Management Bavaria provide a brief introduction to the topic of research data with the help of videos, as well as a list of online training programmes from various disciplines for self-study. The national RDM initiatives have compiled a collection of RDM training and educational materials, available on the HU Berlin website.

On the page, under ‘Wissenschaftsbereiche’, you can find specific information on your subject area. The Leibnitz Information Centre for Economics explains what research funding agencies require in terms of research data management.



Our data management services




Who owns research data?

Research data may be protected by copyright and subject to data protection regulations. In addition, the rights to the research data may be regulated by contractual agreements. Brief summaries on this topic are provided by the Gutachten zu den rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen des Forschungsdatenmanagements, the article Wem "gehören" Forschungsdaten?", and the publication ‘Rechtsfragen bei Open Science’.

Why should research data be stored?

It is good scientific practice to keep the research data that form the basis of published work for at least ten years. If as much data as possible is also publicly accessible, it can be reused for further projects. It also makes it easier to verify research results. Funding agencies and major international journals are therefore increasingly demanding that research data not only be stored, but also published.

When should I not share my data?

You should not share your data if:

  • You intend to apply for a patent with the data.
  • Your research data contains confidential, personally sensitive data (for example, surveys and interviews) that cannot be anonymised and/or you do not have written consent for publication from the data subjects.
  • Your research is sponsored by a commercial sponsor who has not agreed to publication.
  • Publication is ethically questionable, as unintended subsequent use may result.
  • You are unsure who owns the data.
What are the advantages of publishing data?

Advantages of publishing research data:

  • Reputation is enhanced through increased citation of the publication.
  • Good scientific work is transparent and offers the possibility of subsequent use by other researchers if there is good documentation of the data.
  • A protection period for publication of your data by others can be established with the right licensing at the time of publication.
  • You can choose to only publish certain parts of your research data.
  • Scientists can re-use other research data themselves, for example via
  • Follow-up projects can be applied for more easily if the reputation of the project is high due to the published research data. [6]
How can I restrict the use of my data?

You can determine how your data is to be used by others through licensing. You also have the option of publishing your research data with a time delay (a so-called embargo period) or you can choose to only publish the metadata.

Under which licences should I share my data?

Depending on the individual project, different licensing models may be available. It is recommended that you publish your research data under a free licence to enable the widest possible subsequent use of the content. Currently, frequently used licensing models in the research data sector are Creative-Commons and Open-Data-Commons, as well as GPL v3 for software.

Which data formats are best for storing and preserving data? has a comprehensive overview of suitable data formats.

Where can I find a repository for my data?

There are various repositories where you can publish your research data. You can find a compilation on re3data and Data repositories. Detailed information on subject-specific portals can be found on the page Fachspezifische Informationen.

If there is no suitable repository in your discipline, you can publish your data on the RosDok repository of Rostock University.

For further information, please contact the Research Data Department.

How can I share data with other researchers?

Unibox (a Dropbox alternative) is available to all members of the University of Rostock.

SharePoint is particularly suitable for collecting the ‘scattered’ knowledge of working groups in one place.

Citavi offers the possibility to edit literature references and directories in a team. You can find more information here. The University Library offers workshops on how to use the software.

Project drives are shared drives the University of Rostock provides on request. They can be used for storing project-related data and are accessible to multiple team members.

How can I anonymise photos and videos?

The Leibnitz Institute for Research and Information in Education has published a guide to anonymising data here.

What is a data management plan (DMP)?

Data management plans (DMPs) explain how research data should be managed in a project, starting from the project idea, through data collection to publication and archiving. This involves data and metadata, but also responsibilities, accountabilities and costs for sustainable data management. DMPs are increasingly required by research funders during the project application stage.

For more information, see the page Working with a Data Management Plan.

Further information