Data Management Paragraph

Researchers are expected to answer the following questions about data management in the research proposal:
  1. Will data be collected or generated that are suitable for reuse?
    Yes: then answer questions 2 to 4
    No: then explain why the research will not result in reusable data or in data that cannot be stored or data that for other reasons are not relevant for reuse
  2. Where will the data be stored during the research?
  3. After the project has been completed, how will the data be stored for the long-term and made available for the use by third parties? To whom will the data be accessible?
  4. Which facilities (ICT, (secure) archive, refrigerators or legal expertise) do you expect will be needed for the storage of data during the research and after the research? Are these available?

In some cases, question 4 is broken down into sub questions:

  1. It is important that your data can be found, that they are accessible, reliable, in a usable format and identified in a unique and persistent way so that they can be re-used and referred to. Therefore it is of importance to ensure that the necessary facilities are available:
    a. Which facilities (including but not limited to IT, (secure) archive, refrigerators or legal expertise) do you expect that you will need to ensure proper treatment (e.g. documentation, access management and accounting) and safe storage of data during the research? Are these available?
    b. Which facilities (including but not limited to IT, (secure) archive, refrigerators or legal expertise) do you expect that you will need to ensure proper reuse, archiving (including documentation, access management and accounting) and preservation of the data after the research? Are these available?

Data  Management Plan

NWO wants research data that emerges from publicly funded research to become freely and sustainably available, as much as possible, for the use by other researchers (data management as part of Open Science). Due consideration is given to aspects such as privacy, public security, ethical limitations, property rights and commercial interests.

To make data that emerges from NWO-funded research as accessible and reusable as possible, NWO has decided to implement the data management policy in all NWO funding instruments with effect from 1 October 2016.

In concrete terms this means that all calls for proposals published from 1 October 2106 onwards will include the data management protocol.

The data management protocol consists of two steps:

  1. A data management section in the research proposal in which the researcher should answer a number of short questions;
  2. A data management plan that must be submitted after the proposal has been awarded funding. The approval of this plan is a prerequisite for NWO disbursing the grant.

Within four months after granting a proposal, the researcher should develop the data management section into a fully-fledged data management plan and upload it to ISAAC.


Costs for data management are eligible for funding and should be included in the project budget.

Archiving data

According to NWO, data covers two categories: collected and unprocessed data as well as analysed and generated data.

NWO recommends that, in the course of research, digital data is stored in a safe place where they are accessible to others with the researcher's permission.

Once the research has been completed, the data should be archived in a national or international data repository. If that is not possible, they should be archived in the repository run by the institute where the research has been conducted. Confidential, privacy-sensitive or competition-sensitive data might require special forms of storage or limited access. NWO recommends against merely storing research data on computers or external media (e.g. USB flash drive, CDs, DVDs or hard disks). Rather, it strongly encourages the use of repositories with a Data Seal of Approval certification.

According to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice (in Dutch) raw data must be stored for a period of at least 10 years. A longer period is recommended.


For specific questions about NWO’s data management policy researchers may e-mail NWO.