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Broad Uptake of Science Europe Research Data Management Guide

The Science Europe Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management (RDM Guide) has seen an important uptake, being referenced and used by a large number of stakeholders within and beyond European borders.

In January 2021, the extended version of the RDM guide was presented in a very successful Science Europe webinar, with more than 300 participants spanning from Europe and the US to South Africa, Botswana, Israel, and Nepal. Such high interest was the incentive for the SE Office to take stock of the guide’s uptake to date.

Since its launch in 2019, the guide was quickly implemented by several SE Member Organisations. A report published in January 2020 shows the good practice examples of the first members (AKA, ANR, FWF, HRB, NCN, NWO, SNSF, and VR) that have aligned their policies and practices with the guide. Since then, more MOs have followed the example (DFG, FNR, FWO, and RCN) and others consider doing so shortly. The Guide has been translated into several languages, among which French, German, Polish, Swedish, and, recently, traditional Chinese.

Since 2019, the Guide it is also recommended as good practice in managing research data in the ‘Information for ERC grantees’ by the European Research Council as well as in the European Commission’s Model Grant Agreement for its framework programmes for research and innovation (Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe).

The Research Data Alliance (RDA), an international forum promoting data sharing, has just set up a new Working Group on discipline-specific guidance for Data Management Plans (DMPs) that uses the RDM Guide as the basis of their work. Science Europe participated in some meetings of this new group to provide background information and advice on potential first steps.

The interest in and use of the guide seems so widespread that providing an exhaustive list of its uptake is not possible, however the following has been observed. A very high interest has been noticed among universities, research institutes, other Research Performing Organisations, and associated libraries. Other entities supporting data sharing, such as digital repositories and large discipline-specific infrastructures, for example ELIXIR and ENVRI, reference the guide on their websites. The Brazilian Oswaldo Cruz Foundation explicitly states that its DMP requirements are based on the Science Europe RDM Guide and the data management support staff at the University of Wyoming (US) reported in a meeting to use the guide on a regular basis.
Furthermore, it is promoted by the Research Technology Innovation Platform of the Western Balkan Countries, on the websites of academic publishers and publication sharing systems, several Horizon 2020 projects, science-news aggregators, and the Embassy of Good Science, a platform promoting research integrity and ethics. Going beyond the public research sector, the guide is also supported by the Pharma World Magazine.

The SE Office will continue to monitor and promote the uptake of the guide and explore opportunities to foster aligned Research Data Management in collaboration with other organisations.

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