Funders’ data requirements

From 2017 onwards, all researchers must implement best practices in scientific research and prepare a Data Management plan (DMP) to apply to selective grants from innovative research programs such as Horizon 2020 (including ERC grants) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Starting at submission date October 2017, the SNSF now requires the following from all researchers :

1. A full dynamic Data Management Plan (DMP), when completing their grant application on mySNF.

The DMP is not included in the evaluation of the project, however the funds will not be released until the DMP is fully completed. The DMP must be updated throughout the project and the final version of the DMP will be published in the P3 data bank (SNSF).

The online SNSF DMP form includes four sections:

  1. Data collection and documentation
  2. Ethics, legal and security issues
  3. Data storage and preservation
  4. Data sharing and reuse

A DMP pre-fill template specifically designed for the SNSF has been prepared by EPFL and ETHZ to guide and to help researchers save effort and time while completing the SNSF form.

2. Depositing and archiving data produced during the project in a FAIR repository

The SNSF requires to deposit data in an open-access and non-commercial repository, which complies with the FAIR principles. Of course, this requirement has to be respected as long as no ethical restrictions apply to it.

What does FAIR mean ?

FAIR principles mean that the repository meets standards ensuring that data sets are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable :

  • Findable: Data and metadata are easy to find by both humans and computers. Machine readable metadata is essential for automatic discovery of relevant datasets and services, and as such are essential to the FAIRification process.
  • Accessible: Limitations on the use of data, and protocols for querying or copying data are made explicit for both humans and machines.
  • Interoperable: The computer can interpret the data, so that they can be automatically combined with other data. There is a historical trend in computer science toward increased interoperation (for instance, between different hardware designs, operating systems, programming languages, and communication protocols).
  • Reusable: Data and metadata are sufficiently well described for both humans and computers in order for them to be replicated or combined in future research.

To understand in more depth what this means concretely, feel free to explore this practical guide. The SNSF provides guidelines for assessing the suitability of repositories as well as examples of suitable repositories. Useful resources regarding relevant repositories based on your area of expertise can for instance be found on https://www.re3data.org.

3. Publishing research data

In addition, SNSF expects data underlying a publication to be shared as soon as possible, and at the latest at the time of publication of the respective scientific results. Complementary data can also be shared and more information about this can be found on our website here.

Horizon 2020 (including ERC grants)

Research funded by H2020 now requires a DMP as a deliverable. At a minimum, one version must be provided at the beginning, a second version during the project and the third at the final stage of the research project. Moreover, data underlying publications must be deposited in a repository, and made accessible and exploitable by third parties.

For more information on this topic, feel free to review the following guidelines:

1. H2020 Guidelines

2. ERC Guidelines

3. FAIR Data Principles

Overview of funders’ data policies

Overview of funders data policies

Inspired by the Digital Curation Center (DCC) website