VU policy on Research Data Management updated

The policy is now in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the VSNU’s Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity and is based on the FAIR principles.

03/12/2020 | 9:23 AM

The Executive Board approved the update to the VU Amsterdam policy on research data management on 21 January 2020. This new policy took effect immediately. You can find out more about who is responsible for managing research data (researchers, heads of departments, faculties, the university) on the VU Amsterdam website . The full RDM policy memorandum can be found on VUnet  and in the LibGuide on Research Data Management.

What has changed? How will this affect the management of your research data?
Houweling_Sander •    The policy has been brought into line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity issued by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) in 2018.
•    At VU Amsterdam, we try to manage research data as far as possible in accordance with the FAIR principles. FAIR stands for: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. In the coming years, we are placing the emphasis on Findable and Accessible. Nevertheless, researchers are invited also to make progress in the areas of interoperability and reuse.
•    After the completion of a research project, all datasets must be recorded in the VU Research Portal (PURE), in order to ensure they are easily findable by others.

Two-yearly evaluation
When the VU Amsterdam policy for Research Data Management (RDM) was first adopted in 2016, it was agreed that it would be evaluated every two years. In 2018, the policy memorandum and the application of RDM policy at VU Amsterdam were both evaluated. The above changes have been made in the light of that evaluation.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in 2018. This privacy legislation has consequences in the following areas: the handling of personal data within the research domain; the registration of data; and the support that VU Amsterdam offers for that purpose. All of this information has been incorporated in the policy update. For any GDPR support you may require, you can contact the Privacy Champion(s) in your faculty.

Data storage responsibilities
As for the storage of research data is concerned, the policy introduces stricter responsibilities for researchers and heads of department in an effort to ensure that research data is always stored in a way that it is secure, findable and accessible. You should therefore make sure that there is always someone within VU Amsterdam who knows where your data has been stored and make agreements about this with your head of department, if necessary. This will mean that access to the data is guaranteed, even if a researcher becomes ill or leaves the university.

Datasets must be findable
In the RDM policy from 2016, researchers were already expected to ensure that their data would remain accessible for at least ten years after the completion of the research. VU Amsterdam now embraces the principles of FAIR data . We are therefore now asking researchers to register their data in the VU Research Portal, ensuring that the data is findable for others.

Knapen_ThomasRegistering datasets in the VU Research Portal
In addition to publications, datasets can also be registered in the VU Research Portal (PURE). You can find out how to do that in the RDM policy. Registration in the VU Research Portal ensures that your datasets are more easily findable and this has various advantages. Registering your data:
- increases your opportunities for collaboration;
- counts towards research evaluations and assessments;
- contributes towards reuse, efficiency and transparency.

In the LibGuide Research Data Management, you will find detailed instructions on registering datasets. If you have any questions, you can contact the manager of the Research Portal at
View examples of registered datasets in the VU Research Portal.

Consequences for faculty RDM policy
TSo far, only central VU Amsterdam policy for RDM has been updated. The University Library will have discussions with research policy staff in the faculties about the consequences of the update for their own faculty RDM policy.

If you have any questions about the central RDM policy and its implementation, please contact the RDM Support Desk at .