How to create a data management plan (DMP)?

Step 5

Think about ethics and legal aspects


In some cases, data cannot or should not be published immediately when submitting to an archive. One possible reason might be that you collect research data within the scope of your PhD thesis and you have to publish your studies before making data available for others. In this case, you can define access restrictions for your research data. This means, you can already submit your data to a public archive and get an identifier for them (e.g. DOI) – which makes them citable and reusable - even though you don't want your data to be published immediately.

Unlike your data, your metadata does not have any access restrictions. Thus, people will find the information about your research data in a search engine but they cannot access the data themselves. Since metadata should always contain information about contact persons – which will be YOU in the given case – people will be able to contact you if they are interested in your research. When the access restriction expires, the data will also become available.

You might also collect sensitive data, which are subject to ethical issues or legal restrictions and requirements. Personally identifiable information, Red List Species, and genetic resources have to be handled according to specific  legal requirements and may not easily be published. If you feel uncertain about legal requirements, we support you in identifying them.

Conscientious data management implies licensing your data. GFBio supports the idea of open access to research data. But open access does not mean everyone can use your data at will. Data can (or must) be cited very much in the same manner as publications. Licenses, such as the Creative Commons licenses, define citation demands as well as further terms of use, for example if the data may be transformed.