Research data management @lastatale
The University endorses Open Research Data principles and actions as a prerequisite for reproducibility and open access to science findings. The University of Milan acknowledges the importance of data management for scientific research quality and integrity, and adopts the highest standards for data collection, storage and preservation.
The Data Management Policy formalises our full adherence to Open Research Data, establishes the responsibilities, rights and duties of the University and of its researchers, proposes a Data Management Plan (DMP) model for data collection, documentation, storage, access, use and preservation (or destruction).
Research data means data in the form of facts (figures, symbols, texts, images or sounds) that are used as primary sources of scientific research and are necessary to validate its findings (University RDM policy).
Research data management throughout its lifecycle is a very complex process that must be accurately set up according to international standards defining its key features.
Open Data is data that can be used, edited and shared by anyone, for any reason, provided that their origin and open access are preserved.
What is FAIR data?
To meet the expectations of the European Commission and comply with Open Science policies, the data must be:
Findable: traceable and described using recognized standard metadata sets (e.g. Dublin Core) and unique identifiers (e.g. DOI)
Accessible: the data must always be accessible upon a justified request, and must be open whenever possible
Interoperable: it must be read and processed by FAIR-compliant systems
Reusable: it must come with a license detailing permitted uses and with all the documents required for re-using the data (methods, tools, etc.)
The European Commission, as well as other sponsors, requires funding beneficiaries (Horizon 2020, ERC) to make the resulting research findings available for open access.
Research findings are the scientific publications and the underlying data generated during the study. The Commission requires data to be available in a repository in line with FAIR principles, and with as few restrictions as possible.
In 2017, the European Commission published its guidelines for open access to publications and research data in funding programmes.
The data must be as open as possible, as closed as necessary. Not all data can be open, but must still be accessible.
It is possible to opt out (on justified grounds) at any stage of the project if:
- the project is not expected to generate data
- there would be a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation
- the data must be used for patenting procedures
- the project objectives may be undermined by open data
It is also possible to make only some datasets open.
The DMP is the tool available to researchers for planning the collection, storage, description and dissemination of research data and metadata according to FAIR principles.
The plan must be completed within 6 months of project approval and is one of the mandatory deliverables, barring an opt-out.
Research data management is a very complex process. That is why it is important to set its general guidelines and framework at the beginning of a project.
The DMP is conceived as a living document to be updated throughout the research project, in subsequent versions. It follows the entire life cycle of data ensuring its traceability, availability, authenticity, quotability and appropriate conservation, while also taking into account ethics and safety.
European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a European Commission initiative to build a competitive and data-based European knowledge economy. It is a virtual place consisting of federated and interoperable infrastructures, which brings together researchers and service providers pursuing the common goal of FAIR data management and the creation of a shared language, beyond national borders and across disciplines.
In 2017, the European Commission launched the EOSC project and released the EOSC Declaration, which was endorsed by research institutions, financial sponsors, scientific publishers, and data management providers.
The EOSC will provide 1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in the fields of hard sciences and human and social sciences with a virtual open-service environment for storing, managing, analysing and reusing research data beyond geographical boundaries and across disciplines, based on a federated system of distinct scientific infrastructures located in different EU states.