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Digital Competence Centre

your one-stop for research IT and data

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions. Further information on specifics of research data management and terminology surrounding (legislation on) privacy and security can be found in our Guides section.

Privacy & Protection

Where can I get support if I need a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

For advice on, or arranging a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) please contact the University Department of General Administrative and Legal Affairs (ABJZ) (MyUniversity).

As Intellectual Property (IP) and NDA are often related, you can also contact the IP & Business Development department (MyUniversity).

What is the GDPR and how can it affect my research?

Research projects often involve the processing of personal data. With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, researchers are challenged to find their way to build compliance with the GDPR into their research plan.

The GDPR sets out requirements under which data can be processed.
These include:

  • Purpose limitation requirements: personal data may only be used for specific, well-described and legitimate purposes;
  • Security requirements: organizational and technical measures must be taken to prevent the unlawful access to and processing of personal data;
  • Transparency requirements: the participant to the research project must be aware that their personal data is being processed and be informed of their rights, such as the right to access, modification and deletion of personal data.

Data protection is not just about security. Processing personal data in research requires a legitimate base and ethical best practices. The special needs of scientific research are recognised within the legal framework.

Check out the GDPR section for more information and support.

Plan, Process & Store

What are the requirements for a Research Data Management Plan?

The requirements for a Research Data Management Plan differ per faculty or research institute. Check the overview to see which policy your RDMP should comply with.

How do I answer the general questions of the NWO and ZonMW funding proposals?

These are general answers to the NWO and ZonMW questions. For more information have a look at the NWO and the ZonMW websites.

1. Will data be collected or generated that are suitable for reuse?
a) Yes, then continue to answer the rest of the questions.
b) No, then explain why the research will not result in reusable data or in data that cannot be stored or data that for other reasons are not relevant for reuse.

2. Where will the data be stored during the research?
General answer: The data will be stored on the University's network drive (UWP Data Storage). This storage facility is compliant with the UG Research Data Policy. (Note: If you will be handling personal data, IP-related data or if you will cooperate with external partners, a more elaborate answer will be required)

3. After the project has been completed, how will the data be stored for the long term and made available for the use by thirds parties? To whom will the data be accessible?
General answer: Data available for re-use will be archived in DataverseNL with local management by the UG. (Note: DataverseNL is the default platform. Other recommended options may suit your research data better)

4. Which facilities do you expect will be needed for the storage of data during the research and after the research? Are these available?
General answer: Storage of data on the University's network drive and archiving data in DataverseNL is fully available and without costs for researcher of the University of Groningen. (Note: If you will be handling personal data, IP-related data, sensitive data from other parties or large volumes of data a more elaborate answer will be required. Consider additional costs for data management in your budget)

Where can I find existing, re-usable data for my research?

To find existing datasets you most likely have to search through several repositories:

Research database University of Groningen and the UMCG

B2Find. Includes several repositories from Dutch (NARCIS) and European origin

Registry of Research Data Repositories. (Re3data)

The Open Access Directory (OAD) by Simmons College contains an overview of data repositories

The WOS Data Citation Index. Choose "Data Citation Index" in the "Select a Database" menu.
Please note you may have to use your UG/UMCG account to access Web Of Science

Data Journals & Papers listed on

Available secondary data sources licensed by the UG. The available sources are listed in this google sheet

We can help you further  in your search and in getting access to data .
Please do not hesitate to get in touch!

How can I collaborate with colleagues on data sets?

If your colleagues work at the University of Groningen, you can ask your Demand Manager for space on the Y drive.
collaboration with colleagues outside the University of Groningen, there are several options, like a google team drive of a virtual research workspace.
See our Plan, Process & Store guide

Publish & Archive

What is a Metadata Scheme and how can I use it?
  1. Metadata are data that describe your publication or dataset and your research project. For an example of such metadata please have a look at the website of DataverseNL.

    The question "What metadata scheme are you using?" is often asked by funders like NWO or ZonMW. A much used and universal scheme for describing datasets is the Dublin Core scheme. Check this overview for more specific discipline related schemes.
    Also, using a thesaurus with specific, discipline related keywords may be useful as metadata scheme. For instance the MeSH thesaurus or the Web of Science categories. In all cases, use as much as possible general professional terms.
  2. Another type of metadata is the desciption of the variables in your datasets, used input files, calibration procedures etcetera. A document with context information that clarifies the interpretation of the data. But this us usually not a scheme.
Last modified:10 October 2022 12.41 p.m.