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eeFDM

Development and testing of components for effective and efficient research data management ("effektives, effizientes Forschungsdatenmanagement")
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Image: Alberto Triano on Unsplash
eeFDM logo Graphic: Roman Gerlach

On this website, you find information on the BMBF-funded project (April 2017 - June 2019) as well as links to the resulting publications referring to the following topics:

Aim of the Project

Research data management (RDM) is a quite new field. Activities are heterogeneous and subject to constant change. The diversity of research data raises the question which conceptual approaches are suitable to support researchers in all phases of their projects and to what extent generalized strategies for projects with various requirements can be derived from these approaches. After the establishment of the research data management helpdesk, a comparison of the strategic goals of RDM with the status at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) revealed a solid basis for the work of the RDM helpdesk, but there were still considerable gaps in certain areas.

The aim of the eeFDM project was to identify and develop appropriate services for research data management to support researchers at the FSU. This institutionalized and centralized support is supposed to enable researchers to conduct RDM more effectively and efficiently. At the FSU Jena there has been a strong focus on RDM in the field of biodiversity. Due to this expertise and a number of large collaborative research projects, this field served as a pilot throughout the project. Findings and results of the eeFDM project are applicable also to other disciplines and other German universities. Reports and material can be found on this website, the Digitale Bibliothek Thüringen (DBT) and zenodo.

Methods and Results

Improvement of Support for Collaborative Research Projects

RDM practices within ten collaborative research projects at the FSU Jena have been studied. The scope of the conducted interviews was (amongst others): awareness for and competencies in RDM, collected data, metadata, quality assurance, used IT-infrastructure as well as practice of data archiving and publication.

In addition, an in-depth analysis of the processes of the central data management team of the DFG SPP Biodiversity Exploratories and the research data management helpdesk of the FSU has been conducted. Method of choice was a business process analysis, which guides participants to reflect on their own practice and improve it step by step (e.g., by using the developed procedural instructions).

  • Report: Geschäftsprozesse im Forschungsdatenmanagement - Prozessorientierte Organisations-entwicklung im FDM an der FSU. (Business processes in RDM - process oriented organizational development in RDM at the FSU, to be published, German)

Material for RDM support of collaborative research projects as well as individual scientists has been assembled: data management plans, guidance for deciding on metadata standards and technical infrastructures as well as material and concepts for RDM training.

The potential for setting up a centralized RDM-infrastructure at the FSU has been investigated as well.

 

Sustainable Preservation of Research Data

The increasing importance of publishing research data compared to pure archiving leads to new requirements and developments on an organizational and technical level as well as in the framework conditions. This topic has been addressed in the eeFDM project.

A criteria catalogue for appraisal and assessment of research data upon submission to a data repository has been developed. It provides data managers of data managing platforms and data curators of data repositories with a set of criteria to evaluate data submissions – whether the data can be accepted as is, accepted after a certain extent of curation or have to be rejected. At the same time, the catalogue is meant to be a practical guide specifying information that need to be collected at submission time. It may also support and guide data providers to prepare data accordingly upfront and to provide all information needed at submission time.

In addition, a guideline on preservation and publication of research data has been compiled taking biodiversity research as an example. It supports scientists in data selection and preparation as well as in repository and license selection.

  • Guidelines for scientists at the FSU on preservation and publication of research data. Taking Biodiversity research and adjoining disciplines as an example. (to be published)

 

Development of Competencies for Sustainable Handling of Research Data

Material for raising awareness of RDM and for promoting best practices in RDM has been developed, and the website „An open science project“ with material and RDM stories has been set up. Further on, it is possible for all members of the RDM community to publish material and stories on this website for reuse.

Available RDM training concepts at the FSU have been analyzed and potential for improvement has been identified. Existing training offers have been improved and the new versions have been applied. Training material and formats are available in German and English language.

 

Evaluation of Effectiveness and Efficiency of RDM

The effectiveness and efficiency of RDM processes have been evaluated in two organizations. One user survey has been conducted among researchers of the Biodiversity Exploratories project (see above) to evaluate the central data management team. The second survey was conducted among researchers who sought advice from the RDM helpdesk at the FSU. The self-evaluation tools developed (questionnaires, online surveys) can be reused in the future by the parties involved as well as adapted for other purposes.

 

BMBF Logo Graphic: BMBF

Funding

The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, reference no. 16FDM009) associated with the call on investigating the management of research data in their life cycle at universities and other research institutions (German). As part of this call, 21 projects have been funded.

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