NWO to update its data management protocol in January 2020

12 December 2019

Starting from 1st January 2020, NWO will update its data management protocol, reinforcing its longstanding commitment to Open Science. The basic principles will remain. NWO emphasizes the importance of responsible data management and expects researchers to carefully manage data resulting from NWO-funded research and prospectively plan for data sharing and preservation.

The guiding principle is that research data should be as open as possible, as closed as necessary. To ensure that data optimally benefits the wider research community and society, data should be made findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).

Key Changes

NWO introduced its data management protocol in October 2016. Since then, and partly as a result of NWO’s policies, academic and research institutes in the Netherlands have developed their own research data management policies and have increased provision and professionalization of in-house data stewardship and other research data management support roles.

In 2019, NWO launched an initiative for the voluntary international alignment of research data management policies together with Science Europe. This initiative resulted in the Science Europe Data Management Plan core requirements and criteria for the selection of trustworthy repositories.

As a result of these developments, and after consultation with the community of research data management professionals in the Netherlands, NWO is introducing the following changes to its data management protocol:

  • For all grants awarded from the 1st of January 2020, a new data management plan (DMP) template will apply. This template is in line with Science Europe’s Core Requirements for Data Management Plans and it will better support researchers in ensuring that their data are FAIR. 
  • For all grants awarded starting from 1st January 2020, the DMP will need to be completed in consultation with research data management support staff at the home institution of the grant holder. NWO staff will keep reviewing and approving data management plans in house, following a rubric that will be made publicly available.
  • To reduce administrative burden for researchers, NWO will also start accepting data management plans created from institutional DMP templates. NWO will publish a list of approved institutional DMP templates on its website starting from January 2020. Approval of institutional DMP templates will be made on the basis of matching Science Europe’s Core Requirements for data Management Plans.
  • Research software does not fall strictly under the definition of research data as far as NWO’s data management protocol is concerned. However, NWO recognizes that software (algorithms, scripts and code developed by researchers in the course of their work) may be necessary to access and interpret data. In such cases, the data management plan will be expected to address how information about such items will be made available alongside the data.
  • The data management section of grant applications is also being revised. A revised data management paragraph will appear in the first quarter of 2020. There will then be a closer match between the questions asked in the data management section and the data management plan. The focus will move from storage during the project to data sharing and data reuse.

Lees ook

Source: NWO


Hans de Jonge (Policy officer Open science and Quality) Hans de Jonge (Policy officer Open science and Quality) +31 (0)70 3494388 h.dejonge@nwo.nl


Olivier Morot (spokesperson) Olivier Morot (spokesperson) t: +31 (0)6 53175377 o.morot@nwo.nl