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Research Research Data Management


Frequently asked questions concerning Research Data Management.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions: just send an email to:

Storing, gathering, collaborating on data

We also have a specific Guide availabe on our website: Guide on Storing and preserving data
Which secondary data sources are available for UG staff and students

The University Library provides access to a number of secondary data sources.
Please note these resources are available for staff and students affiliated with the University of Groningen, other user might encounter difficulties in using them.

The available sources are listed in this google sheet

Feel free to comment!
And if you have any questions, please send us an email:

How can I gather and store data intelligently?

The Research and Innovation Support (RIS) department of the CIT has extensive in-house knowledge and experience of this field. Feel free to contact RIS for advice.

Also there are several good resources for learning about naming and organizing files:
like this one from Cambridge;
this one from CESSDA (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives);
and this one from the Leiden Research Data project.

I want to use SURFfilesender to send or receive large files in a secure way, with the option to encrypt content.

With SURFfilesender, you can send large files (max 500 GB) such as research data. SURFfilesender is also suitable for smaller files, such as reports. The files are stored in the Netherlands. Encryption offers extra security.

For more information visit the CIT webpage SURFfilesender

How do 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 Guide on storing and collaborating on data

What options are avaialble as an alternative to Dropbox for collaborating and sharing data?

Because Dropbox is not licensed by the UG, using that for collaborating and sharing data is considered unsafe.

UniShare is an alternative to Dropbox, providing 100 GB of storage. UniShare is ideal for sharing data with colleagues at other universities.
For further information please visit the pages on Research and Innovation Support: Unishare

Go to Unishare

A Google Team Drive is also considered a good alternative, please note this team drive has to be created with your UG (email) account.

For collaborative research on sensitive data you can also use the Virtual Research Work Space (VRW)

Read more in our Guide on Data Protection and GDPR - Technical and organizational measures

Read more in our Guide on Storing and Preserving Data

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

DataverseNL. Data repository used by UG and several other Dutch universities

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

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

The RDO team members can give you further assistance in your search and in getting access to data .
Please do not hesitate to get in touch!

What is the Research data management system (RDMS) and what can it do for me

The Research data management system (RDMS) is being developed by CIT to provide solutions for storing and retrieving data.

The RDMS functionality can for instance be on:

  • Storage & File Management
  • Data Vault - store immutable data
  • Find & Re-use
  • Metadata Management
  • Collaboration and Sharing
  • Provenance and Auditing
  • Automation on (recurrent) activities
  • Interoperability - send/receive (meta)data to/from another system
  • Archiving & Publishing

Read more on the CIT website, here you can also contact the developers team

Can I use Google Drive to safely store data and collaborate with other researchers?

When you use Google Drive this is considered as safe as using your Google mail, as long as you use your UG account.
A good option is to use Google Team Drive for more safe collaboration with others, especially outside the UG. Because in a team drive you can assign roles and rights to other users of the drive, including restrictions on downloading and printing. When you are in doubt if a Team Drive is safe enough to use, please contact the Privacy and Security coordinator of your Faculty.

Overview of UG P&S coordinators (MyUniversity)

Publishing and sharing data

We also have a specific Guide availabe on our website: Guide on publishing and sharing data
My data has to be archived in a data repository and I have to provide a Data Availabilty Statement. What to do?

An increasing number of journals and publishers require, as a condition for publication, that the data supporting the results in the paper will be archived in an appropriate public repository.
Authors are required to provide a data availability statement, including a link to the repository they have used, and to cite the data they have shared.

More information on a data availability statement


The most used service for publishing data associated with your article, is DataverseNL.
On your request the RDO makes a dataset in DataverseNL. You immediately receive a persistent identifier (handle) that you can add to your article and/or statement.
Whereafter you can add datafiles yourself and publish these data on your own conditions.

Information on DataverseNL

There could be other, more suitable repositories for your purpose, have a look at our Guide on Publishing and Sharing data for more information.
We will gladly advise you on this, just send an email to
Please note we advise you not to publish the data with the publishers of the journal

Below you find an example of PLOS ONE articles from Groningen researchers with a corresponding dataset in DataverseNL.


Who Is He? Children with ASD and ADHD Take the Listener into Account in Their Production of Ambiguous Pronouns / Sanne J. M. Kuijper , Catharina A. Hartman, Petra Hendriks
Corresponding Dataverse:

Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Concomitants of Facial Blushing during Everyday Social Encounters / Marije aan het Rot , D. S. Moskowitz, Peter J. de Jong
Corresponding Dataverse:

What is Metadata and a Metadata Scheme, 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, for instance

    The question: "what metadata scheme are you using" is often asked by funders like NWO or ZON-MW. A much used and universal scheme for describing datasets is the Dublin Core scheme.
    An overview of more specific, discipline related schemes may be found at:
    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.

    For UMCG researchers, a Metadata SOP (standard operating procedure) is available in the UMCG Research Toolbox  (UMCG intranet).
    Within the Toolbox, choose  “Data Management” in the menu on the left. Then you will find a link to  “access to SOPs, Templates and Forms Data Management”

  2. Another type of metadata is the desciption of the variables in your datasets, used input files, calibration procedures etcetera.
    A document of separate file with context information that clarifies the interpretation of the data. But this us usually not a scheme.
What is FAIR Data and what is the connection with Open Science

Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.
The University of Groningen strongly supports this practice!

See our Guide on Publishing and Sharing data and the University Library portal

FAIR is the accronym of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. More information: GoFAIR.
With describing your research data in the Research database with metadata including persistent identifiers, this data and terms of access can be made clear.
More information on UG recommended data repositories in the Guide on Publishing and Sharing Data

Data protection and privacy

We also have a specific Guide, including more FAQ, availabe on our website: Guide on Data Protection & GDPR Measures
What is the GDPR, and how may it affect my research project?

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.

Our website has a section on Data Protection and GDPR including Frequently Asked Questions on Data Protection

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.

Our website has a section on Data Protection and GDPR including Frequently Asked Questions on Data Protection

Where can I get support on Intellectual Property related 'sensitive' data?

For support in Intellectal property and Patents please contact the IP & Business Development department (link to MyUniversity).

ABJZ Checklist
The Legal Department (ABJZ) developed a Checklist for researchers in collaboration agreements. You find the Checklist and other relevant documents on the UG page on Academic Integrity

How can I use Veracrypt to encrypt my files or drives

With Veracrypt you can create a virtual disk that is entirely encrypted (including file names, allocation tables, free space, etc.) and behaves like a real disk. You can create such a disk on any storage device, such as your laptop, but also on the university network drive (X and Y) or a cloud storage like Unishare or Google Drive.

You can save (or copy, move, etc.) files to this virtual disk and they will be encrypted on the fly as they are being written.
If you open a file stored on a VeraCrypt volume, for example, in media player, the file will be automatically decrypted to RAM (memory) on the fly while it is being read.

Veracrypt is available in the UWP.

More information and a user guide is available as PDF document. When you start Veracrypt in UWP the user guide is also available.

If you need assistance in using Veracrypt, please contact the CIT servicedesk

Where can I get support in case I need a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in my research?

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

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

ABJZ Checklist
The Legal Department (ABJZ) developed a Checklist for researchers in collaboration agreements. You find the Checklist and other relevant documents on the UG page on Academic Integrity

Research Data Management. Planning, Policies, Guides

We have specific Guides available on our website:
Guide on Data Management Planning
Guide on Policies and Codes of Conduct
Online Courses and other Guides on Data Management

Below you find links to online Research Data Management courses and guides that are covering general principles like FAIR data, data stewardship, storage, publishing and metadating etc.
And more specific courses on discipline or topic, like Data Protection in research.
This a selection of guides that we consider useful. We welcome other suggestions, just send us an email: researchdata

Courses (general)

Essentials 4 Data Support (RDNL introduction course)

Research Data Management and Sharing (North Carolina - Edinburgh)

MANTRA Research Data Management Training (Edina - Edinburgh)

Research Data Alliance Training and Webinars (RDA)

Courses (specific)

Social Sciences: CESSDA

Life Sciences RDM training: Association for Clinical Data Management (ACDM)

Life Sciences Health Data protection: Protecting Health Data in the Modern Age  (Groningen)

RDM services: Delivering Research Data Management Services (RDNL-DCC-Edinburgh)

DPIA-Data Protection Impact Assessment: Privacy in research: asking the right questions. (Groningen)

GDPR-General Data Protection Regulation: Understanding the GDPR (Groningen)

Guides (general)

LCRDM Practical Guidelines

Dutch Tech Centre for Life Sciences (DTL) RDM Guide

University of Utrecht RDM Guide

What are the requierements for a DMP?

Your Research Institute or Faculty will probably have a policy regarding research data that your DMP should comply with, please check that.
Overview of Faculties and Institutes Research Data Management policies

Also funding agencies, such as NWO (The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) and the Europen Research Council demand a research data management plan.
For a  research proposal with NWO/TNO you have to answer 4 questions in a Data Management Chapter.
For a research proposal with ZonMw there is a data management checklist.

Please note that for a granted NWO or ZonMW project your Data Management Plan has to be completed in consultation with a data management specialist.
Read more on our website about the the requierements for such a DMP.

Last modified:17 August 2020 7.42 p.m.