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Science Europe and NWO launch initiative to align research data management policy across Europe

Science Europe and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) are launching an initiative for the voluntary international alignment of research data management policy. The organisations presented the initiative on 30 January in Brussels at a co-hosted event on how to manage research data in an era of Open Science.

The Open Science strategy is high on the political and scientific agenda in Europe. Access to and sharing of research data are central pillars of this strategy. Many research funders, institutes, and universities are developing policies for managing those data in an Open Science environment to stimulate good data governance and stewardship. Better alignment of these policies will reduce administrative burdens for both researchers and research organisations.

Science Europe and NWO are advocating for such alignment by exploring ways to establish core research data management requirements, as well as a list of trusted repositories where researchers can store their data for sharing. These should create a uniform basis to develop more specific policies from. Science Europe and NWO encourage other organisations in the broader research landscape to join forces in this endeavour. Science Europe will launch a first round of consultations in early Spring; interested organisations are invited to contact the Science Europe Office.

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, welcomed the initiative. He announced at the event that the Commission will support Science Europe and its Member Organisations in their efforts to co-ordinate the work of research funding and research performing organisations on Open Research Data policy: "Science Europe Members can be the game-changer in this area: the key to transition is in your hands and the Commission will be your partner in this endeavour."

The launch of the initiative follows the recent publication of Science Europe's new framework for discipline-specific research data management. This framework aims to make life easier for researchers who are writing data management plans for their own research and applications. Research communities are invited to create domain-specific protocols based on this framework, outlining the essentials for data management in their area.

For more information, you can visit http://scieur.org/rdm-initiative.