Index

Accreditation

All study programs of the Faculty of Natural Sciences are accredited. More detailed information on accreditation can be found on the homepage of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at FAU (only in German).

General Terms & Conditions for Research and Development Projects

The following text has been copied from the “General Terms and Conditions of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) for Research and Development Projects, Expert Opinions and other Services” PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.

 

Translation from the German language
General Terms and Conditions Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Last updated March 2018
 

General Terms and Conditions of the
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU)
for Research and Development Projects, Expert Opinions and other Services

 

Section 1: Sphere of Application

1.1          These General Terms and Conditions apply to research and development projects, expert opinions and other engineering services (below referred to as “projects”) carried out and provided by the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (below referred to as University Erlangen-Nuremberg).

1.2          The Freistaat Bayern (Free State of Bavaria) represented by the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, is the Contractor.

1.3          A binding offer of the Contractor and the written order of the Customer are required for the project to come into existence. Contractor and Customer are referred to as “party” severally or as “parties” collectively below.

1.4          The Contractor is entitled to subcontract with third parties.

1.5          Deviations from these General Terms and Conditions are only valid, if they are stipulated explicitly in writing; in this event a contractor has to be made on these deviations, which is subject to the Contractor’s written consent. The Customer’s deviating Terms and Conditions do not apply in any event, even if the Contractor does not object to them explicitly.

 

Section 2: Execution of the Project

2.1          The project is carried out in accordance with the state of the art and by observing the scientific rules.

2.2          The project-related workload is described by the offer and a time schedule is added, if required. Where it is not exactly foreseeable at the time of entering into the contract, which course the project will take, the project’s description may be updated with regard to its content within the stipulated scope and by mutual agreement of both parties’ heads of the project while the project is carried out. Possible deadlines for performance extend reasonably, if the Customer does not fulfill his duties of cooperation in time. The same is deemed to apply, if the Contractor is prevented to perform properly due to circumstances for which the Contractor is not responsible.

2.3          The project’s description (offer) may provide for interim reports.

2.4          After completing the work, the Customer will receive a final or an examination report showing the result of the project in a comprehensible way and containing documents and calculation software that may have been created in the course of the work.

 

Section 3: Remuneration

3.1          Remuneration is to be paid as a lump sum. It will be displayed explicitly in writing in the offer as the stipulated net amount of the project means. The statutory turnover tax will be charged additionally. Amendments are subject to the Contractor’s consent.

3.2          Possible additional expenses for freight, customs, additional import taxes and packaging may be charged additionally.

3.3          The Contractor is entitled to invoice the Customer for reasonable advance payments on remuneration and expenses. Receivables will become due for payment without deductions within 14 days from the invoice date. Interest in the amount of the statutory interest rate of 8 percent over the base rate of the ECB valid at the time will be charged for any violation of the stipulated date for payment.

3.4          On receipt of payment an infrastructure contribution (overhead) in the amount of 20% will be retained of the stipulated net amount of the project means. Exceptions are subject to the prior consent of the University’s Drittmittelverwaltung (approx. Administration of External Funding).

3.5          The Customer agrees that the executive professor may be awarded a research allowance in the amount of 20% from the stipulated net amount of the project means after receipt of the payment, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Bayerische Hochschulleistungsbezügeverordnung (approx. Bavarian Provisions on Emoluments of Senior University Employees).

3.6          Where the offer does not contain any other provision, the Customer will be invoiced separately for expenses actually arising for business travel and other expenses incurred on the Customer’s initiative with regard to processing the order.

 

Section 4: Confidentiality, Publications

4.1          Each party will maintain confidentiality on the other party’s confidential information, which becomes known to her and her employees due to carrying out the project. In particular, such confidential information will be used by the receiving party for the purpose of carrying out the project only, will not be given to third parties and will be safeguarded against unauthorized access by third parties.

4.2          “Confidential information” in the sense of this Section 4 is only such information that is explicitly marked as confidential. The duties to maintain confidentiality do not apply to information, which verifiably (a) was already known to the receiving party prior to the notification, (b) was already publicly known or generally accessible prior to notification, (c) became publicly known or generally accessible after notification without participation or fault of the receiving party, (d) was disclosed or made accessible to the receiving party by an authorized third party, or (e) was developed by the receiving party or which the receiving party had developed without assistance independently of having knowledge of the information.

4.3          The above-mentioned obligations expire at the end of two years following termination of the project.

4.4          Regarding research projects, the Customer acknowledges the Contractor’s fundamental obligation to publish kind, object and result of the research carried out in-house. Publications on the object of the research project, which are made over the project duration and within a period of time of up to one year following termination of the project will be coordinated with the Customer beforehand. The Customer will not refuse consent of the publication without cause. Should the Customer not object to a publication, which was submitted to him as original text, within six weeks following receipt of the full documentation, consent is deemed to have been granted.

 

Section 5: Results of the Project

5.1          All knowledge, documents, computer programs, data bases, prototypes etc. that will be gained or created by carrying out the stipulated project in the stipulated field of research and development are the results of the project.

5.2          Subject to the following paragraphs, all rights to the results of the project as well as the ownership of the results, which have been delivered in physical form, are assigned to the Customer on full payment of the stipulated remuneration.

5.3          With regard to the works, data base works and know-how protected by copyright, the Customer is granted the right unlimited as to time or place, which can be assigned by the Customer only, to use these in unchanged or changed form for all kinds of use as he sees fit, in particular to copy them, have them copied and to process them and grant rights of use to third parties for all kinds of use.

5.4          Where the results consist of software, the following is deemed to apply as a deviation from the previous paragraph: On delivery, the Customer is granted the right, which is non-exclusive and cannot be sublicensed, to use the software (object code) created by the Contractor for his own purposes. Disclosure to third parties is subject to the Contractor’s consent. Should the software created be subject to contractual obligations to third parties (e.g. when using software in accordance with an open-source-license), these have priority and do also apply to the Customer.

5.5          For their own purposes in research and teaching the Contractor and his employees concerned, in any event will retain a right of use of the research results, which is non-exclusive, non-assignable, royalty-free, unlimited as to time or place.

 

Section 6: Inventions, Property Rights

6.1          The Contractor is entitled to the rights to inventions eligible for patent or utility model protection, which are made by the Contractor’s employees while carrying out the project. The Contractor notifies the Customer without undue delay of inventions brought to his attention. The Contractor alone is entitled to make the decision, whether to use an invention and apply for a property right.

6.2          With regard to all these inventions and intellectual property rights resulting from them, the Contractor gives the Customer an option to enter into a user agreement on market-standard conditions. In accordance with the parties’ agreement, this can be an exclusive or non-exclusive license or an acquisition of a property right. The option has to be exercised within two months from the Customer being notified of the invention. In the event of an exclusive use Section 5.5 applies accordingly for the property rights resulting from the invention.

6.3          With inventions made by the Contractor’s and the Customer’s employees collectively, the parties will agree on the way to proceed in the individual case. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, each of them is entitled to use these inventions for their own purposes and grant non-exclusive licenses to these inventions to third parties.  An application for a property right may only be filed by mutual agreement.

6.4          The Contractor notifies the Customer without undue delay, if he gains knowledge of third parties’ property rights that may prevent use of the results. The Contractor is not obliged to conduct a search of property rights.

 

Section 7: Liability

7.1          When carrying out the stipulated work, the Contractor is responsible for applying scientific care and for observing the recognized standards of good practice, but not for actually achieving an intended research and development result. Also, no liability will be assumed for the results being suitable for economic exploitation and free of third parties’ property rights.

7.2          The contractual and tortious liability of the parties and the persons performing their obligations to the other party for damage not caused by injuring life, body or health, is limited to intention and gross negligence. As to the amount, the liability is limited to the total amount of remuneration to be paid according to the contract, in case of breach of primary contractual duties, it does not exceed the triple of the total amount. Liability for production downtime, business interruption, lost profit and other consequential damage is excluded, where they are not caused by intention.

 

Section 8: Premature Termination of the Project

8.1          A termination of the project by termination notice will only be possible, if this was specifically permitted in the project’s description.

8.2          Each party is entitled to terminate all or part of the project for cause with immediate effect subject to the conditions of Section 314 BGB (German Civil Code). In particular, separation of the academic head of the department or of the head of the project from the University is deemed to be cause.

8.3          In any event, the termination must be in writing.

8.4          In case of premature termination, the Contractor will deliver to the Customer the documents available and results achieved by this time to the extent given in Section 4. After the date of premature termination of the project, the Customer will continue to reimburse the Contractor for these expenses, which have to be incurred yet in consideration of the project and for meeting legal obligations, unless the Contractor fails to meet his obligation to ensure termination of the legal obligations in time. With premature termination, the expenses to be reimbursed to the Contractor after the termination date must not exceed the total remuneration stipulated.

 

Section 9: Final Provisions

9.1          The Contract entered into on the basis of these General Terms and Conditions is governed by German Law, excluding the provisions concerning conflicts of law and the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

9.2          Erlangen is the place of performance.  If the Customer has merchant status, is a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law or does not have a general jurisdiction within the country, Erlangen is stipulated to be the general jurisdiction for all disputes arising from and relating to the contract.  This does not apply, where an exclusive jurisdiction is provided for by law.

9.3          Amendments and additions to these General Terms and Conditions have to be made in writing. This does also apply to waiving this written form requirement.

9.4          Should a provision of the General Terms and Conditions be or become invalid, the validity of the other provisions is not affected thereby.  Instead of the expired provision, the parties will agree on a provision in this case, which comes closest to the economic content of the expired provision and satisfies both parties’ interests to the same extent. The same applies, if these General Terms and Conditions contain an omission.

 

Erlangen, dated 2018-03-19

On behalf of the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg:

<Signature illegible>

Christian Zens
Chancellor FAU

 

 

 

 

ERC: Open Research Data and Data Management Plans

The following text has been copied from the ERC’s Open Research Data and Data Management Plans PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.

European Research Council

Scientific Council

Established by the European Commission

 

Open Research Data and Data Management Plans

Information for ERC grantees

by the ERC Scientific Council

Version 3.1

3 July 2019

This document will be regularly updated in order to take into account new developments in this rapidly evolving field. Comments, corrections and suggestions should be sent to the Secretariat of the ERC Scientific Council Working Group on Open Access, Research Data Management and Open
Science more broadly via the address erc-open-access@ec.europa.eu.

The table below summarizes the changes that this document has undergone.

HISTORY OF CHANGES

Version
Publication date
Change
Page
1.0
23.02.2018
Initial version
2.0
24.04.2018
Part ‘Open research data and data deposition in the Physical sciences and Engineering domain’ added.
15 – 17
Minor editorial changes; faulty link corrected.
6, 10
Contact address added.
2
3.0
23.04.2019
Name of WG updated
2
Added text to the section on data deposition
5
Reference to FAIRsharing moved to the general part from the life sciences part and extended
7
Added example of the Austrian Science Fund in the section on policies of other funding organisations; updated links related to the German Research Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council; added reference to the Science Europe guide.
8
Small changes to the text on Image Data
9
Added reference to the Ocean Biogeographic Information (OBIS)
10
Reformulation of the text related to Biostudies
11
New text in the section on ‘Metadata’ in the Life Sciences part
11
Added reference to openICPSR
13
Added references to ioChem-BD and ChemSpider
16 / 17
Change of header ‘Geophysics’ into ‘Earth system science’
17
Information on EPOS updated
17
Minor editorial changes and updates
whole document
3.1
03.07.2019
Added reference to OpenNeuro
14

 

Open Research Data Management and Data Management Plans

Information for ERC grantees

The ERC has supported the cause of open science from its start in 2007, and continues to do so today. Open access to publications from ERC funded projects is mandatory. The next step in the development of open science is making research data publicly available when possible. This will benefit science by increasing the use of data and by promoting transparency and accountability.

The ERC embraces the so-called ‘FAIR data principles’: research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable. This means that data should be:

  • identified in a persistent manner using community conventions, and described using sufficiently rich metadata;
  • stored in such a way that they can be accessed by humans and machines;
  • structured in such a way that they can be combined with other data sets;
  • licensed or have terms-of-use that spell out how they can be used by others.

The article by Wilkinson et al. on “The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data
management and stewardship”1 provides a detailed discussion of the FAIR principles. Not all data can be made fully open. Where data raise privacy or security concerns, controls and limits on data access will be required. In some cases, it will be appropriate for researchers to delay or limit access to data in order to secure intellectual property protection. Any such restrictions on access should be explicit and justified, and such data should still be managed in line with the FAIR principles. For researchers, the move to open data means that they have to think about what data their research will produce, how these data will be described, and how they can be made available in such a way as to benefit science and society in general. This means that they have to draw up a data management plan and find suitable data depositories.

ERC requirements

Data Management Plans

All ERC projects funded under the Work programmes 2017 and later participate by default in the Horizon 2020 Open Research Data (ORD) pilot, with the possibility for grantees to opt out at any time. For projects funded under the Work programmes 2015 and 2016 grantees can opt into the pilot if they so wish.

ERC grantees of projects that take part in the ORD pilot are required to submit a data management plan (DMP) within six months after the start of their grant.

As practices with regard to data management, storage, and sharing differ widely across disciplines, the ERC uses a general set of requirements that DMPs should meet. A DMP should provide information on:

  1. Data set description: Grantees to provide a sufficiently detailed description, including the scientific focus and technical approach, to allow association of their data sets with specific research themes.
  2. Standards and metadata: Grantees to describe the protocols and standards used to structure their data (i.e. fully reference the metadata) so that other scientists can make an assessment and reproduce the dataset. If available, grantees to provide a reference to the community data standards with which their data conform and that make them interoperable with other data sets of similar type.
  3. Name and persistent identifier for the data sets: Grantees should plan to use depositories that will provide a unique and persistent identification (an identifier) of their data sets and a stable resolvable link to where their  datasets can be directly accessed. Submission to a public depository  normally provides this; many institutional depositories provide similar services.
  4. Curation and preservation methodology: Grantees to provide information on the standards that will be used to ensure the integrity of their data sets and the period during which they will be maintained, as well as how they will be preserved and kept accessible in the longer term. If available, to
    provide a reference to the public data depository in which their data will reside.
  5. Data sharing methodology: Grantees to provide information on how their data sets can be accessed, including the terms-of-use or the licence under which they can be accessed and re-used, and information on any restrictions that may apply. It is also important to specify and justify the timing of data sharing. This could be, for example, as soon as possible after the data collection, or at the end of the project. For data that underlie publications it could be, for example, at the time of publication or pre-publication.

A DMP that provides adequate information on these five topics will meet the FAIR principles.

The ERC does not prescribe a specific format for the DMPs that its grantees need to submit, because practices and standards differ widely across disciplines. However, grantees are encouraged to use the ERC template that is available on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal:

A very convenient on-line tool to formulate a DMP according to the requirements of the ERC (as laid down in the template) and of several other research funding organisations is provided by the Digital Curation Centre:

Grantees should also keep in mind the following guidance document:

Writing a DMP should not be regarded as a purely administrative exercise. Rather, it should provide a positive stimulus to thinking about how the data generated within a project will be stored, managed and safeguarded, and should be part of the research process from the outset. As a project progresses, the data generated may well change in type and volume. It is therefore useful to envisage a DMP as a dynamic framework, which should be maintained and modified as the research advances. Planning for submission early in the research cycle will facilitate the publication process. Good data management will save time, safeguard information and increase the visibility and impact of the research outcomes.

The ERC recognises that data annotation and deposition are time-consuming activities. ERC grant money can be specifically earmarked for this purpose, for example to contribute to the salary of a research assistant or to the costs of a commercial provider.

Data deposition

The ERC is convinced of the importance of data and their value to the scientific community. Data deposition can be complementary to publication, but data can also be deposited without an associated publication. The ERC considers data as an important scientific output; therefore data deposition should always be accompanied by a reference to the ERC grant number.

Publications present the pertinent data underlying conclusions made in a research paper and publishers increasingly require that all relevant data should be made available to the community. The ERC expects data underlying publications by ERC grantees to be available. Researchers often generate additional data, not directly linked to publications, which shape the way their projects develop, and these also can constitute a valuable resource. Funders
and indeed the public in general are anxious that all valid data be made available in order to promote scientific progress; the European Commission has adopted a policy of open data for all research that they finance. Data dumping is of course to be avoided and it is important that data be of sufficient technical and scientific quality as well as being sufficiently annotated and structured to be useful to the community. Ultimately, it is for the individual investigator to decide which data merit conservation and/or sharing. Where the scientific content is concerned, it is necessary to bear in mind that what seems of little interest in the
context of a particular project may be relevant to other lines of investigation and therefore of potential interest to the research community. So-called negative results may also be of potential value.

When looking for a depository for research data, first check whether there is a
thematic/community database where the data could be archived. Irrespective of the depository you choose, you should always check whether it is sustainable in the longer term and:

  • stores the data in safe way;
  • makes sure that the data will remain findable (via the use of a persistent identifier), as well as accessible and re-usable;
  • describes the data in a standard way, using accepted metadata standards;
  • and specifies a license governing access and re-usability of the data.

There are a number of organisations that carry out a certification of data depositories. The following links may be useful:

General depositories for research data

The following depositories are of interest to researchers in all domains:

While some of these depositories, such as Zenodo, are supported by public money, some others, such as Dryad, may charge a fee. Some degree of data curation may be provided but this is often not the case. Figshare is a commercial company that provides data management services to individuals and will advise about data curation and data deposition through a cloud provider. The company also works with institutions to enable them to curate their academic research outputs and host their data on their own machines.

For an extensive overview of data depositories across all disciplines, see:

At the European level, EUDAT bundles a large number of general and discipline-specific depositories:

A growing number of universities and research institutes host a depository for use by their research staff. Most of these institutional depositories are originally set up for storing (open access) publications, but dedicated research data depositories also occur. In order for an institutional depository to be acceptable as a trusted archive, it is essential that the university/institute has a data policy guaranteeing the support for data storage and sharing into the future.

Individual researchers may also set up their own focussed database. There are many such initiatives, which may be open to the community and can play a useful role. However most often, in contrast to public data depositories, these are not deposition databases, and as long as they depend on a single individual and/or funding source, long-term sustainability is challenging. In addition to the major problem of perennity, curation of the data may not always be adequate, with problems of quality, correct annotation, renewal (whether the database is up to date) etc. This can complicate access and also compromises re-use.

Many journal websites contain lists of depositories. In addition, there are an increasing number of commercial publishers that offer authors opportunities to store the research data underlying their publications.

If in doubt about how to deposit data, in what format etc., it is recommended to consult the depository directly.

Metadata and data preparation

In order to make stored data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), it is not enough to store ‘raw data’; they need to be properly documented and described using informative metadata.

Defining appropriate metadata depends on the discipline and/or the methodology that was used to produce the data. Discipline-specific depositories often have detailed requirements for describing data that are stored in that depository.

A generally accepted minimum standard for describing information on the web, including research data, is Dublin Core. Further information on this metadata standard is available at:

For more information on disciplinary metadata standards see also

and the Metadata Directory that has been set up under the auspices of the Research Data Alliance:

A curated resource on data and metadata standards, inter-related to databases and data policies can be found at

From its first incarnation, BioSharing.org – which focused on the life sciences – FAIRsharing has evolved into a resource that serves users across all  disciplines.3

Policies of other funding organsiations

As the movement towards open data progresses, various national funding agencies have formulated policies and specified requirements for DMPs that might be informative when drawing up a DMP, for example:

The following document by DG Research of the European Commission is also instructive:

In November 2018 Science Europe published its

Developed by experts from Science Europe member organisations and in consultation with the broader research stakeholder community, the guide presents core requirements for DMPs and criteria for the selection of trustworthy repositories, as well as some guidance to organisations on how to put these into practice.


In what follows more specific information is given for ERC grantees in the Life Sciences and in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, and for those working in the Social Sciences and Humanities. This will include references to specialised depositories for specific disciplines where such are available, and more general information in other cases. Note that this information is provided ‘as is’, i.e. it does not reflect any particular preference on part of the ERC as to which depositories, protocols, metadata or sharing methodologies an ERC grantee chooses to use.

 

Open research data and data deposition in the Life Sciences domain

The Life Sciences have a long tradition of open access data depositories. Submission of datasets to an established public depository is considered good scientific practice and is often also a condition for publication. The public depositories ensure that data are correctly curated, accessible and maintained in the long term. Data publication through such a depository will make your data FAIR. In addition, several publishers are implementing formal data citation in the reference list of papers, which will provide a mechanism to attribute credit to datasets. In this context see the paper “A Data Citation Roadmap for Scientific
Publishers” by Cousijn et al..4

Established public depositories

ELIXIR, the ESFRI research infrastructure for life science data, has compiled a list of recommended depositories:

Many of these are based at the EMBL-EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute; for advice on data deposition see http://www.ebi.ac.uk/submission/) with established partner databases in other parts of the world. The

also provides a list of data depositories, although many do not take public submissions.

Image data

In the rapidly developing area of microscopy and bioimage data, solutions for public archiving of data sets are currently being built. There is already an electron microscopy public image archive:

The new European research infrastructure Euro-BioImaging covers a wide range of imaging approaches:

  • European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Euro-BioImaging): http://www.eurobioimaging.eu/

Euro-BioImaging is actively promoting the development of a public bioimage archive in strategic collaboration with the EMBL-EBI and ELIXIR.5 A pilot service, the Image Data Repository (IDR), already accepts several types of light microscopy data, with a special emphasis on cell and tissue imaging (https://idr.openmicroscopy.org/about/). A general bioimage archive service is expected to become available in 2019.

Health sciences and clinical data

Many community databases exist in this area. Different ‘clinical speciality’ related databases are available, such as:

Clinical research outputs tend to be handled nationally because of varying national regulations about confidentiality, where data from individuals are concerned. Personal data poses additional ‘consent’ challenges and the development of public databases requires ‘controlled access’ for data protection. This is a rapidly evolving area where community standards and depositories will be established in the coming years. As standards emerge, the
ERC will adopt best practice as recommended by each research community. However, for information, all clinical trials should normally be registered, at the outset, in one of the publicly accessible registries identified by the World Health Organisation:

Other types of depositories

In a number of research areas, the research community has generated specific archives. These may be depositories that aggregate data from multiple underlying depositories, so that they can be easily found and used by the community. This is the case for organismbased research with examples such as:

National and international research consortia may also create databases. This is exemplified by a number of databases in the domain of biodiversity, such as:

Incorporating data into these resources can be very valuable for promoting research within the community, but additional deposition of the data into an established public data-typefocussed depository is highly recommended to ensure long-term curation, preservation and findability.

Data management in domains where established databases are not available

Many institutions have data storage facilities for unstructured data for which there is no existing dedicated community depository. This category includes data generated by functional studies where, for example, a cell component is removed and then complemented by another molecule or where behavioural studies are carried out to test brain function in an animal model. Unstructured data are accepted by depositories such as:

In the case that the data behind a study is archived in multiple resources or locations, the ERC encourages grantees to deposit the study metadata, including links to the data location(s), in a recognised resource such as BioStudies (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/biostudies/). This also allows life science data for which there is no thematic depository to be deposited. This includes image data, until the bioimage archive is fully operational. Often a BioStudies record corresponds to the data behind a paper and so can be used to provide a simple link from the paper to the data behind the study via the accession number.

 

Metadata

In the life sciences, the key community deposition databases have strict metadata standards that are required for deposition of data to make them FAIR. Therefore, much of the thinking of what metadata should be supplied is provided and managed in this way.

Activities surrounding standardisation of metadata (such as cross-data resource identifier mapping, mapping of textual metadata labels to ontology and standard vocabulary terms, standardisation of computational workflows and application programming interfaces (APIs), and schematic mark-up of the data) can be facilitated by reusing existing mature interoperability resources. The section on ‘Interoperability’ on the ELIXIR website (https://elixir-europe.org/platforms/interoperability) recommends interoperability tools for
the purpose of making the data FAIR via the following resources:

Additionally, the ‘Tools’ section on the ELIXIR website (https://elixireurope.org/platforms/tools) provides links and guidance on good practice for open source software development in the life sciences.6

 

Open research data and data deposition in the Social Sciences and
Humanities domain

The situation with regard to open data in the SH domain, both in terms of infrastructure (depositories) as well as protocols and standards, is rapidly evolving. There are many initiatives, at the national and supra-national levels, that aim to provide researchers with the necessary tools and information.

Characteristic feature of the disciplines that together make up the ERC’s SH domain is their variety, in terms of topics, epistemologies, and methodologies. This is reflected also in the data that SH projects produce: quantitative data sets; experimental data; observational data; interviews; archival data; human artefacts; medical and genetic data; and so forth. In addition, the various kinds of data crosscut the disciplinary divisions, as several disciplines produce different kinds of data, depending on the methodologies used.

Also, particular restrictions may apply to making data open depending on the discipline. Data may include copyrighted material, such as literary texts or images, or archival materials to which access is restricted. In other cases, data may include privacy-sensitive material, such as video recordings of parent-child interactions or interviews.

For this reason, it is not possible to provide a single set of guidelines for the entire SH domain. Therefore, this document aims to provide some general and some discipline-specific references that ERC grantees can use to draw up DMPs that are adequate for their discipline and their specific project, and that meet the FAIR principles.

In what follows more information is given on:

  • general depositories
  • discipline-specific depositories
  • metadata and data preparation

General depositories

There are many options available for SH scholars, both general as well as discipline-specific, not-for-profit as well as commercial. The list below mentions a number of well-known depositories for use by social sciences and humanities disciplines, but it is certainly not exhaustive.

An important selection of depositories for SH scholars is provided by CESSDA:

CESSDA is a so-called ‘ERIC’, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium
(http://ec.europa.eu/research/infrastructures/index_en.cfm?pg=eric), i.e., an international entity established by the European Commission that has national governments or consortia as its members. Currently, CESSDA has 18 members, all of them national agencies that operate on a not-for-profit basis. Many of the CESSDA depositories also cover (some of) the humanities in addition to the
social sciences.

The geographical coverage of CESSDA is growing. Among the EU countries, missing at the time of writing are some Southern European Countries (Italy, Spain) and most EU-13 countries. Another prominent absentee is Ireland.

Also of interest to researchers in the SH domain is ICPSR:

ICPSR is a not-for-profit membership organisation that maintains a data archive in the social and behavioural sciences:

Currently ICPSR has a membership of more than 770 universities, government agencies, and other institutions.

 

Discipline-specific depositories

There are a number of depositories that are discipline-specific, and that are usually maintained by discipline-specific organisations or consortia.

Linguistics

LLOD is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Data in Linguistics (https://linguistics.okfn.org).

CLARIN is an ERIC, like CESSDA. Its geographical coverage is wide, with currently 20 national consortia as full members and four consortia as observers. Among the EU countries, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg and several EU-13 countries are currently not (yet) represented among the CLARIN membership.

Historical sciences

Depositories for the historical sciences are mostly at the institutional or national level. A number of CESSDA archives also accept historical data sets.

Archaeology

There are only few depositories dedicated to archaeology. Most of these have a national focus, such as:

EDNA was established by the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) and the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE) to archive digital research data of Dutch archaeologists in a sustainable manner and make them available. The data are stored in EASY (https://easy.dans.knaw.nl/), the online archiving system of DANS.

Arts and humanities

DARIAH is another ERIC. It is a pan-European infrastructure for arts and humanities scholars working with computational methods. It has seventeen members and several cooperating partners in eight non-member countries. Among the EU countries, missing at the time of writing are Spain and a number of EU-13 countries.

Note that several CESSDA archives also accept humanities data sets.

Psychology

The Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID; https://www.zpid.de) has developed a data-sharing platform specialized for psychology research:

For an extensive overview of data depositories in psychology, see the article “Finding a Home for Your Science” by DeSoto.7

Of interest for researchers working in the psychology subdomain of cognitive neuroscience is the platform

which allows the sharing of MRI, MEG, EEG, iEEG, and ECoG data.

Demography

DSDR is housed within the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) mentioned earlier.

CESSDA archives will normally also accept demographic data sets.

 

Metadata and data preparation

A general overview of SH metadata standards can be found on the SH-specific pages of the DCC:

The DCC website lists metadata standards for, among others, archaeology, social and policy studies, economics, heritage studies.

For metadata and data preparation in the social sciences, see the following guide on the website of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR):

For metadata and data preparation in linguistics, see:

Open research data and data deposition in the Physical sciences and Engineering domain

The PE domain has a large number of data depositories. In the following section a number of areas are addressed in some detail. This list should by no means be considered as an exhaustive one, rather as a collection of representative examples in a rapidly evolving landscape.

 

Discipline-specific depositories

Astronomy

The Strasbourg astronomical Data Center is dedicated to the collection and worldwide distribution of astronomical data and related information:

It hosts a variety of repositories of multi-wavelength data and provides useful interfaces, e.g. the SIMBAD astronomical database (http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/), the world reference database for the identification of astronomical objects; VizieR (http://vizier.ustrasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR), the catalogue service for the CDS reference collection of astronomical catalogues and tables published in academic journals; and the Aladin interactive software sky atlas for access, visualization and analysis of astronomical images, surveys, catalogues, databases and related data (http://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/aladin.gml).

Chemistry

The use of public depositories and databases in chemistry is still developing, with the majority of the progress happening in the area of structural chemistry. The

manages the archives of the Protein Data Bank, which provides a repository of information about the 3D structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies.

Another key resource in use in this area is the

for small molecule crystallography data.

covers direct sequencing data for proteins, and both

and the

deal with mass spectrometry proteomics data.

A network of repositories for open access Computational Chemistry research results is

A free chemical structure database providing fast text and structure search access to over 67 million structures from hundreds of data sources is

Maintained by the Royal Society of Chemistry, it also encourages researchers to upload their own data.

Earth system science

Digital seismic waveform data in standardized format are available via the International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN, formed in 1985), which provides a huge amount of accessible data via the various on-line data centres, all accessible via the FDSN website:

The Data Management Center of IRIS – Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (http://www.iris.edu/) in the US is one of the hubs for seismology that serves the international FDSN community, also archiving historical data from pre-digital sources:

Likewise,

archives and distributes geodetic data (GPS/GNSS, InSAR) for research purposes.

Geochemists also have on-line databases, for example a relational database of peerreviewed summary data on the geochemistry of all reservoirs in the earth
(https://earthref.org/GERM/). Data from geomagnetic observatories around the world can be obtained through the ‘Intermagnet’ program (http://www.intermagnet.org/). The

is a collaborative framework where many diverse communities of geoscientists and engineers aim at providing open access to geophysical, geochemical and geological data as well as visualization and modelling tools. At present, EPOS includes ~300 research institutions from 25 European countries. In October 2018, the European Commission granted EPOS the legal status of an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium), which is currently joined by ten countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Greece, Iceland and Switzerland will initially participate as observers.

Material sciences

The Crystallography Open Database contains the crystalline structures of a large number of systems. Researchers can contribute with their own results:

RefractiveIndex.INFO (https://refractiveindex.info) contains the dielectric functions of various materials.

Particle physics

Scattering data providing mostly documentation of published results (data points from plots and tables) are deposited at the

Software engineering

In computer science (but also physics, astronomy etc.) one research output is the development of code.

is an extremely popular platform to publish such output, and while behind Github is a commercial company, public projects can be stored for free.

Telecommunications

A library of test instances for Survivable fixed telecommunication Network Design is provided by

It contains realistic network design test instances available to the research community and serves as a standardized benchmark for testing, evaluating, and comparing network design models and algorithms. Every user can contribute by submitting new test instances, new solutions or dual bounds for existing test instances.

collects websites containing video content, including video test sequences. The

provides a repository of video content that is suitable for determining the effectiveness of consumer video processing applications and quality measurement algorithms. Users can share and download high-quality uncompressed video clips, which can be filtered using a clip descriptor and recommended usage guidance.

accepts and shares numerous datasets used in the field of Quality of Experience research in multimedia systems.

 

Metadata

In the situation where there is no public or community database for a data type, the ERC encourages grantees to deposit the metadata, including links to the data location, in a recognised resource.

A good example where standards for metadata have been established is given by the Virtual Observatory (VO) with the vision that astronomical datasets and other resources should work as a seamless whole. Many projects and astronomical data centres worldwide are working towards this goal via the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA – http://ivoa.net). The IVOA debates and agrees the technical standards that are needed to make the VO possible. It also acts as a focus for VO aspirations, a framework for discussing
and sharing VO ideas and technology, and body for promoting and publicising the VO.

 

Footnotes:

1Wilkinson, M. D. et al. (2016). The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data 3:160018 (https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18)

2https://cos.io/

3Sansone, S.-A. et al. (2019). FAIRsharing as a community approach to standards, repositories and policies. Nature Biotechnology, volume 37, pages 358-367. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-019-0080-8)

4Cousijn, H. et al. (2018). A Data Citation Roadmap for Scientific Publishers. Scientific Data 5, 180259 (https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.259)

5Ellenberg, J. (2018). A call for public archives for biological image data. Nature Methods 15, 849-854 (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-018-0195-8)

6Jiménez, R.C., Kuzak, M., Alhamdoosh, M. et al. (2017). Four simple recommendations to encourage best practices in research software [version 1; referees: 3 approved]. F1000Research 6:876 (https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11407.1)

7DeSoto, K. A. (2016). Finding a Home for Your Science. Observer, Volume 29, Issue 5 (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/finding-a-home-for-your-science)

Regulations for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice

The following text has been copied from the Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) PDF and is provided for purposes of accessibility. It can be found in its original version here.

 

Please note that ONLY the German version of this document is legally binding. The English translation only serves the purpose of providing information on the contents of the corresponding German text.

 

Regulations for safeguarding good scientific practice and dealing with
scientific misconduct at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
(FAU)

Dated 10 October 2017

With reference to Section 13 (1)(2) in conjunction with Sections 6 (1)(3)(2) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG), FAU passes the following regulations:

Table of contents:

Part I, page 1
Purpose and scope, page 1
Section 1: Purpose, page 1
Section 2: Scope, page 2

Part II, page 2
 Good scientific practice, page 2
Section 3: General rules for good scientific practice, page 2
 Section 4: Supervising young researchers, page 3
 Section 5: Dealing with primary data, page 3
 Section 6: Authorship, page 3
 Section 7: Responsible reviewing, page 4

Part III, page 4
Scientific misconduct, page 4
Section 8: Scientific misconduct, page 4

Part IV, page 6
 Quality management and internal monitoring, page 6
Section 9: Internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct, page 6
 Section 10: Ombudsperson, page 6
 Section 11: Committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct, page 7

Part V, page 7
 Procedure in event of suspected scientific misconduct, page 7
 Section 12: Duty of clarification, page 7
 Section 13: Procedural principles, page 7
 Section 14: Ombudsman proceedings, page 8
 Section 15: Initial investigation, page 9
 Section 16: Formal investigation, page 9

Part VI, page 10
Final provisions, page 10
Section 17: Legal validity, transitory provisions, page 10

Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct, page 12

 

Part I: Purpose and scope

Section 1: Purpose

1Within the context of its legal mandate, FAU is responsible for safeguarding good scientific practice in research and teaching, as well as when supporting young researchers. 2Those involved in research at FAU are committed to academic integrity, see Section 6 (1)(3) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG). 3These regulations are intended to promote good scientific practice and stipulate how scientific misconduct is to be dealt with.

Section 2: Scope

(1) 1These regulations shall apply to all FAU members involved in academic work. 2This includes students and administrative employees involved in research, as well as academic staff. 3These regulations shall also apply to people pursuing a doctoral degree or a habilitation supervised by an FAU professor, even if they are not members of FAU.

(2) The regulations shall also apply to former members, former doctoral candidates and former habilitation candidates at FAU if they are accused of scientific misconduct concerning their activities at FAU.

(3) If the accusation of scientific misconduct concerns a time at which the person was not yet a member of FAU, FAU can either demand that the affected institution carries out an investigation into the allegation or carry out an investigation pursuant to these regulations itself.

 

Part II: Good scientific practice

Section 3: General rules for good scientific practice

(1) 1The members of FAU are obliged to comply with rules of good scientific practice. 2These rules comprise in particular

  1. General principles of academic work such as
    1. working in accordance with professional standards
    2. documenting findings
    3. consistently questioning the validity of all results
    4. being strictly honest in view of all contributions from partners, competitors and predecessors
    5. joint responsibility of authors and exclusion of honorary authorship
  2. Abiding by special rules for individual disciplines.

(2) 1Good scientific practice is only possible if all members of FAU commit to it. 2Each individual scientist and academic is responsible for complying with and communicating the current rules of good scientific practice. 3The faculties shall ensure that standards of good scientific practice are communicated at all times in all degree programmes and when supervising doctoral candidates. 4Whilst faculties are responsible in the last instance, those in charge of work areas or working groups must take appropriate organisational measures to ensure that managerial, supervisory and quality control tasks, including the clarification of standards of good scientific practice, are assigned to specific individuals and that these duties are fulfilled.

Section 4: Supervising young researchers

(1) 1Individuals with doctoral degrees, doctoral candidates, graduates and students involved in research projects are entitled to regular academic advice and support from supervisors or those in charge of working groups. 2They are obliged to work responsibly and cooperate well with colleagues. 3The extent to which each individual is involved in the entire academic project shall be documented.

(2) 1The duty to supervise young researchers includes actively contributing to the timely completion of the work required for the respective qualification level. 2It is recommended that supervision agreements are concluded defining the specific conditions and the rights and duties of supervisors and doctoral or habilitation candidates.

(3) The faculties shall ensure that the standards for good scientific practice are an integral component in the training of young researchers.

Section 5: Dealing with primary data

(1) Primary data on which publications are based shall be kept by the authors in the academic institution in which the data were created for at least ten years from the date of publication on permanent and secure storage media, provided the data has to be kept available for checking at a later date and storing the data does not infringe any legal provisions.

(2) 1If an employee leaves the department, the original data shall remain at the original location and FAU shall take precautions to ensure that the primary data are forwarded appropriately and access rights clarified. 2Primary data shall be saved in an appropriate manner and protected from unauthorised access. The individuals entitled to access the data shall be named. 3If there are no data protection rules to the contrary, authors shall be given the opportunity to create a copy of the data before leaving the department.

Section 6: Authorship

(1) 1Only those individuals who have made a considerable contribution to an academic publication shall be considered (co)authors. 2Only those individuals who have made a considerable contribution to drafting the research or experiments, to creating, analysing and interpreting the data, or to wording the draft of the publication and have agreed to publication, accepting responsibility for the same, shall be considered the author(s) of an original academic publication. 3(Co)authorship cannot be claimed merely on the basis of a person’s position as the current or former head of an academic working group or as a supervisor. 4Honorary authorship is not permitted.

(2) The following contributions, seen individually, are not sufficient to claim (co)authorship:

  1. Purely organisational responsibility for acquiring funding
  2. Providing standard material for investigation
  3. Instructing staff in standard methods
  4. Purely technical assistance in collecting data
  5. Purely technical support, for example merely providing equipment and animals for testing
  6. Merely providing data on a regular basis
  7. Merely reading over the draft publication without making a substantial contribution to the contents
  8. Heading an institution or organisation in which the publication is written.

(3) 1Authors of an original academic publication must report on findings which contradict their findings and hypotheses to the same extent as those which support them. 2Previous research by the author or other individuals and relevant publications from other authors on which the work is based directly must be cited and attributed completely and correctly.

(4) The above provisions shall apply accordingly to publishers of academic editions.

Section 7: Responsible reviewing

(1) 1Information or ideas which a reviewer learns of before others thanks to their position as a reviewer shall be treated confidentially and may not be used to obtain a competitive advantage. 2The reviewer shall disclose any conflicts of interest arising from being in competition with, cooperating with or being related in any other way to authors of a submitted publication, those submitting a proposal for a project or applicants for academic positions.

(2) 1Publications can be assessed on the basis of their impact factor as an additional consideration, but this shall not replace the requirement to assess the contents. 2The quality of the contents must be assessed if academics are to be judged in comparison with one another.

 

Part III: Scientific misconduct

Section 8: Scientific misconduct

(1) 1Scientific misconduct is when there has been a (wilful or grossly negligent) breach of standards of good scientific practice. 2There is considered to have been a breach in particular if, in a context of academic importance, incorrect statements have been made, intellectual property rights of other parties have been infringed or research of third parties has been damaged to a considerable extent either wilfully or grossly negligently. 3Each case shall be assessed on the basis of the individual circumstances.

(2) The following is a non-exhaustive list of instances of scientific misconduct:

  1. Giving incorrect information:
    1. Fabricating data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or research findings,
    2. Falsification of any of the above, e.g.
      1. by failing to mention data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or research findings relevant to the issues being investigated
      2. by manipulating data, sources, evidence, illustrations, texts or reserach findings
      3. by selecting and rejecting undesirable research findings without disclosing that this has been done
    3. Giving inaccurate information in a letter of application or application for funding (including incorrect statements regarding scientific journals and publications currently in print)
    4. Giving inaccurate information on the academic performance of applicants in a selection or review committee
    5. Failing to disclose any conflicts of interest
  2. Infringing intellectual property rights:
    1. Relating to a work protected by copyright which has been created by another person or to essential academic findings, hypotheses, teachings or research approaches originating from others
      1. using such works without authorisation and while claiming to be the author of the same (plagiarism)
      2. using or exploiting research approaches and/or ideas without authorisation, in particular as a reviewer (theft of ideas)
      3. assuming or accepting without reason authorship or coauthorship or publication or joint publication rights to an academic work
      4. falsification or fabrication of contents
      5. publishing and/or making contents available to third parties without authorisation before the work, the findings, the hypothesis, the theory or the research approach has been published
    2. Claiming (joint) authorship or (joint) publication rights to an academic work from another person without first obtaining their permission
  3. Jeopardizing the research of others:
    1. Sabotaging research (including by damaging, destroying or manipulating the design for an experiment, equipment, documentation, hardware, software, chemicals or other materials required by another person to conduct the experiment)
    2. Removing primary data if doing so constitutes a breach of legal provisions or recognized principles of scientific practice relating to the discipline in question
  4. Refusing to participate in or deliberaly delaying the efforts to clarify any instances of scientific misconduct, e.g. within the framework of ombudsman proceedings within the meaning of Section 14 or a formal investigation within the meaning of Section 16.

(3)1Anyone who shares responsibility for breaches committed by others shall also be considered to have breached standards of good scientific practice. 2A person may in particular be considered to share responsibility if they:

  1. actively contributed to the scientific misconduct of others
  2. are proven to have been aware of forgery or falsification committed by others
  3. are co-authors of publications suspected of forgery or falsification
  4. have neglected their duty to supervise

 

Part IV: Quality management and internal monitoring

Section 9: Internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct

(1) In order to investigate claims of scientific misconduct, FAU shall appoint the following internal University bodies for monitoring scientific misconduct:

  1. Ombudsperson and deputy
  2. Standing committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct

(2) 1The ombudsperson and the committee shall prepare the findings submitted by the responsible committees of the University and advise the Executive Board of the University and FAU researchers in questions relating to the safeguarding of good scientific practice. 2The ombudsperson, their deputy and the members of the committee shall carry out their duties independently and are not bound by instructions.

(3) A Vice President or a Dean may not accept the office of ombudsperson or be appointed a member of the committee.

Section 10: Ombudsperson

1The ombudsperson and their deputy shall be active professors and shall be appointed by the Senate for a period of five years at the suggestion of the President.

2They may be reappointed for one further term of office.

Section 11: Committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct

(1) The committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct shall consist of three professors with significant research experience.

(2) 1The members of the committee shall be appointed by the Senate for a period of three years at the suggestion of the President. 2They may be reappointed for one further term of office.

(3) 1The committee shall appoint one of their members to the position of chairperson. 2The chairperson shall be elected on an annual basis. 3They may be reappointed for one further term of office.

(4) The ombudsperson and their deputy shall have an advisory role in the committee.

(5) 1The members of the committee together with the ombudsperson and their deputy are intended to represent the faculties of FAU. 2One of the members should be entitled to exercise the office of a judge.

 

Part V: Procedure in event of suspected scientific misconduct

Section 12: Duty of clarification

(1) FAU shall investigate all instances when there are specific grounds to suspect scientific misconduct, no matter the standing of the person involved.

(2) The relevant examining committees of the faculties shall be solely responsible for investigating misconduct relating to examination achievements which count towards degrees.

(3) If an investigation confirms that scientific misconduct has taken place, measures appropriate for the individual case shall be taken in accordance with available legal remedies (see Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct).

Section 13: Procedural principles

(1) 1In order to protect the persons reporting the suspected misconduct, those affected by the allegations and the reviewers responsible for investigating the case, all proceedings concerning suspected scientific misconduct at FAU shall be conducted in utmost confidentiality. All affected parties shall continue to maintain strict confidentiality concerning the matter even after the case has been closed, subject to statutory rights to inspect files. 2Notwithstanding the above, if there is good reason to suspect scientific misconduct has been committed, those affected by the allegations may be reported to the President and the relevant committees at FAU in order to avoid any damage to FAU.

(2) 1In the event of a specific reason to suspect scientific misconduct, the person making the allegation (whistleblower) shall not incur any disadvantages for their own academic and professional progression. 2The affected academic institution is responsible for ensuring that this is the case.

(3) The formal investigation pursuant to Section 16 shall be governed by the provisions of the Bavarian Administrative Procedures Act (BayVwVfG) and Section 30 of the University Constitution, unless stipulated otherwise in these regulations.

(4) The provisions of the Bavarian Administrative Procedures Act governing possible partiality shall apply to the ombudsperson and their deputy and the members of the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct.

Section 14: Ombudsman proceedings

(1) 1The ombudsman proceedings are aimed at settling disputes informally and objectively. 2The ombudsperson shall advise those who report a specific instance of suspected scientific misconduct in confidence and follow up on specific leads brought to their attention, possibly by third parties.

(2) In the first instance, the ombudsperson shall check whether it is plausible that any allegations of scientific misconduct supported by sufficient evidence are accurate, specific and significant, as well as looking into any reasons the person reporting the scientific misconduct may have to report the misconduct other than purely scientific reasons.

(3) Whilst protecting the interests of the affected parties, the ombudsperson shall be entitled to gather all information and statements required in order to clarify the issue and to approach experts from the relevant subject area if so required in any individual case.

(4) 1After checking all information and statements submitted, the ombudsperson may give their recommendation for resolving the conflict. 2This shall be put in writing as a written agreement including a deadline for implementation. 3This shall also apply if initial inquiries uncover a suspected incident of scientific misconduct within the meaning of Section 8 of these regulations which can be resolved by a recommendation given by the ombudsperson. 4In the event that the agreement is not implemented and in all other instances when there is due reason to suspect scientific misconduct, the ombudsperson shall call on the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct to take action.

Section 15: Initial investigation

(1) If the ombudsperson determines that there are reasonable grounds to suspect scientific misconduct, an initial investigation shall be launched by the committee upon request.

(2) 1The committee shall give the person accused of scientific misconduct the opportunity to submit a written statement. 2The statement shall be submitted within a period of two weeks. The deadline may be extended if necessary. 3The name of the person making the allegation shall not be disclosed during this phase without their consent.

(3) 1After receiving the statement from the accused or after the deadline has expired, the committee shall come to a decision within a period of four weeks about whether the preliminary investigation should be closed as there are no specific grounds to suspect scientific misconduct or if allegations of misconduct prove to have been entirely unfounded. 2If the failure to comply with good scientific practice was unintentional, a written reprimand may be issued and the preliminary investigation closed. 3A formal investigation shall be initiated in all other instances where there is specific reason to suspect scientific misconduct. 4The affected person, the person making the allegation and the President shall be informed in writing of the decision and the reasons for it.

Section 16: Formal investigation

(1) 1The academic accused of scientific misconduct shall be given another opportunity to state their version of the facts in an appropriate manner once the formal investigation has been started. 2The statement shall be submitted within a period of two weeks. The deadline may be extended if necessary. 3The academic accused of scientific misconduct shall be given the opportunity to have an oral hearing, if so requested. 4They shall be entitled to seek assistance from a person they trust. 5The committee may prevent anyone accused of scientific misconduct from providing assistance.

(2) 1The committee shall conduct an oral hearing not open to the public. 2It shall freely appraise all evidence to determine whether or not scientific misconduct has been committed. 3It may extend the ongoing formal investigation if further allegations of scientific misconduct are raised against the academic in question. 4The committee may at its own discretion consult reviewers specialising in the subject area which is to be investigated and/or experts in dealing with cases of scientific misconduct, either including them in the committee in an advisory capacity or asking them to share their expert knowledge. 5In addition, the committee may invite a research associate who holds a doctoral degree and has experience in research to attend their consultations.

(3) 1The committee shall come to a decision within a period of six months. 2If the committee believes that scientific misconduct has indeed taken place, they shall submit the draft report to the affected person and shall give them the opportunity to submit a written statement within a period of two weeks. 3If new facts are submitted which are of considerable relevance to the decision, the committee shall examine those parts of the report which are affected.

(4) 1If the committee does not believe that there is proof of scientific misconduct, the case shall be closed. 2The decision to close the case may not be appealed. 3The President shall be informed in writing of the decision to close the case.

(5) 1If the committee believes that scientific misconduct has been proven, it shall submit a report to the President stating the essential reasons and recommending how to proceed. 2The President shall examine the recommendations made by the committee, submit the case to the relevant university committees or institutions and shall take steps to ensure that the appropriate measures are taken (see Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct). 3The Executive Board of the University shall decide whether all or part of the report and recommendations should be published.

(6) 1The relevant committees of the faculties, in particular the doctoral affairs committees, shall come to a decision once the formal investigation by the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct has been completed. Section 23 RPromO shall not be affected. 2The relevant committees shall consult the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct or individual members thereof when coming to a decision.

(7) 1The files relating to the preliminary investigation and the formal investigation shall be kept by FAU for 30 years after the case has been closed. 2The files may only be accessed in this period by members of the committee for the investigation of scientific misconduct unless other rights of access are stipulated by law. 3The committee shall make a unanimous decision concerning the transfer of information.

 

Part IV: Final provisions

Section 17: Legal validity and transitory provisions

(1) 1These regulations shall come into effect on the day after their publication. 2At the same time, the FAU Guidelines on Good Scientific Practice dated 13 May 2002 shall cease to apply.

(2) The members of the standing committee for the investigation of alleged scientific misconduct and the ombudsperson and their deputy appointed in accordance with the guidelines on good scientific practice in office at the time these regulations come into effect shall remain in office until the end of their regular term of office.

(3) Any investigations into allegations of scientific misconduct not yet completed at the time these regulations come into effect shall be conducted in accordance with the terms of these regulations.

 

Appendix: Possible consequences of scientific misconduct

The following is a non-exhaustive overview of possible consequences or penalties incurred for scientific misconduct. The following may be considered:

  1. Disciplinary action under employment law
    1. For civil servants: disciplinary measures
    2. For employees: warning, termination with notice, termination without notice, rescinding the employment contract
  2. Academic consequences: Academic consequences such as revoking academic titles may only be enforced by FAU if the title was awarded to the accused by FAU. If the academic title was awarded by another university, this university shall be informed of the scientific misconduct if it had any bearing on the awarding of an academic qualification. In particular, a person guilty of scientific misconduct may have their doctoral title revoked pursuant to Section 23 RPromO or lose their authorisation to teach.
  3. Possible consequences under civil law:
    1. A ban on entering the premises may be issued
    2. An action may be brought to recover property, for example any scientific samples or the like which has been taken
    3. Claims for removal and injunction based on copyright law, personality rights, patent law or competition law
    4. Repayment claims, e.g. for scholarships, third party funding or the like
    5. Claims for compensation for any damages suffered by FAU or third parties relating to personal injury, material damage or the like
  4. Possible consequences under criminal law: Consequences under criminal law shall always be considered when it is suspected that scientific misconduct simultaneously constitutes a crime under the German Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB) or pursuant to other criminal provisions or administrative offences The President shall be responsible for forwarding the case to the investigative authorities.
  5. Withdrawing academic publications: Academic publications containing errors as a result of scientific misconduct shall be withdrawn if they have not yet been published and corrected if they have been published (withdrawal or correction/erratum). If applicable, cooperation partners shall be informed in a suitable manner. As a rule, the author and publisher involved are obliged to ensure that the above steps are taken. If they fail to do so, the President shall initiate suitable measures available to him or her. The President shall inform other affected research, funding or academic institutions or organisations in the event of scientific misconduct.

Professional associations may also be informed in particularly justified cases. The President may be obliged to inform affected third parties and the public if necessary either in the general public interest or in order to protect third parties, safeguard trust in academic integrity and prevent subsequent damage.

Published according to the resolution of the University Senate on 27 September 2017 and the President’s authorisation on 10 October 2017.

Erlangen, 10 October 2017

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Hornegger, President

These regulations were established on 10 October 2017 at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and displayed for public inspection on 10 October 2017. The date of publication is 10 October 2017.

 

 

Childcare

See Family Services.

Cumulative theses

According to FAU’s Graduate Centre, cumulative theses are “a collection of articles which have been published in recognised scientific journals or accepted for publication and are submitted as an alternative to a monographic thesis.”

For more information, please visit their webpage.

Social media

The FAU is active in a number of social networks, and welcomes members of the university community to take this opportunity to connect with others about current events, research collaborations, opportunities to socialize, and more.  FAU’s social media universe is summarized here.

In addition to the sites listed, ResearchGate provides an opportunity for young scientists to begin establishing a professional network, and WhatsApp is popular among doctoral and postdoctoral researchers for communication within research groups.

 

Supervision agreement

During your doctoral studies, it is important that both you and your supervisor are aware of your rights, responsibilities, and expectations towards one another to ensure a harmonious professional relationship. The Graduate Center of the FAU strongly recommends constructing a supervision agreement at the start of your doctoral degree program in order to minimize avoidable conflicts before they begin to interfere with your research and education.

The Graduate Center provides more information on the necessity and benefits of supervision agreements, including a proposed template for supervision agreement and a checklist for the initial meeting between doctoral candidates and their supervisor, on their website.

Research prizes at the FAU

The FAU recognizes innovative and outstanding research by awarding a number of prizes which provide financial support as well as public recognition of excellent young scientists. More information on the prizes and awards conferred by the FAU can be found on the university’s homepage.

Soft-skills courses

See Key qualifications.