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Research Data Management (RDM)

The increased investment in research in recent years and the finding that a large part of the research data (RD) is lost over the years has increased the pressure to handle this expensive commodity more consciously. More and more public and private funding bodies are demanding, as a prerequisite for financial support, that plans be made at the very beginning of research as to how research data will be stored for the long term, how they will remain available or how they will be published.

The European Commission has also taken on the task of ensuring the free availability of the RD within the framework of the programme for the open access availability of  research publications Horizon 2020 (pdf): this involves, among other things, the writing of applications, the preparation of RD plans, the storage of RD in the repositories of the research institutions, the allocation of permalinks, and courses.

Services of the University of Heidelberg

Research Data Policy

In 2014, the University of Heidelberg established a new Research Data Policy (in German) for the F.A.I.R. treatment of RD  to ensure their long-term availability:





Thus the University of Heidelberg promotes an open science culture in which RD are accessible as freely and unlimitedly as possible.

Competence Centre for Research Data (KFD)

The Competence Centre for Research Data (KFD) of the University of Heidelberg is a joint service facility of the University Library and the Heidelberg University Computing Centre (URZ) . In accordance with the University's Research Data Policy (in German), it offers central services for the processing, archiving and publication of research data to scientists of the University of Heidelberg.

Researchers themselves remain responsible for the legality and integrity of their research data. The competence centre does not provide legal advice.

The KFD provides support in all phases of the research process:

Project and RDM planning

Phase 1: Project planning and RD management

Right from the start of the project, the question of how the RD are to remain usable in the long term will be addressed. The planning is dynamic, i.e. it may change in the course of the research project. Purposes are, among others, the possible utilization by future research, additional verification of the correct course of research, conditions of funding institutions.

The KFD´s service:

  • Support in the preparation of the research data plan (RDP):
    The aim of the RDP is to determine how to deal with the RD in the present and how the RD should be preserved for the future.
    With the RDP, the authors cooperate among, other things, in the preparation of the accompanying documentation and data description.
  • Courses:
    From coffee lectures to 4-hour workshops - also in English
  • Clarification of organisational and technical questions:
    The research projects are analysed by the competence centre on a case-by-case basis to determine whether and which service is best suited to the project.
    Support in the initial phase with the search for existing research data in a research area.

 Preliminary considerations for the research data plan:

  • Which data formats should be used?
  • Should the RD be archived?
  • Should the RD be anonymized?
  • Could ethical questions apply to the RD in the future?
  • Is there enough storage space available?
  • Do you know where to store the RD?
  • You may move to another research institution. Should a copy of the RD still be stored / archived at the previous research institution? Where should this copy of the RD be stored?
  • Are there any rules for handling the RD?
    At the University of Heidelberg there is an obligation to keep the RD available for 10 years. The implementation modalities are not specified. Rules for safeguarding good scientific practice § 2 para. 3.
  • Are the RD simply stored or are they linked to metadata or a documentation?
  • May the RD also be used by third parties? Under what conditions?

RD storage and processing

Phase 2: Storage and processing of operational research data during research

This phase is about the processing of the RD in the project.
Server and storage capacities are made available to handle the FD alone or cooperatively.

The following services are offered in Heidelberg:

heiCLOUD: IT resources on the web (infrastructure, platforms and applications). The offer is provided and made available by the University Computing Centre Heidelberg.

HeiBOX: Synchronization and sharing the RD with other users. The service is provided and made available by the University Computing Centre Heidelberg.

SDS@HD: (Scientific Data Storage): Second hardware generation of the Large Scale Data Facility (LSDF2) for High Performance Computing (HPC).
Access at present only for HD university members. Useful if the RD must frequently be available during the operative phase.
SDS@HD is part of the bwFileStorage service of the Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg (MWFK) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Storage of large amounts of operative data at universities and colleges in Baden-Württemberg. Up to 200 GB per registered profile. Located at the University Library of Karlsruhe.

F*EX: (in German) IP network over the "Baden-Württemberg extended LAN" (BelWü) for sending large files. It is operated centrally in Stuttgart and is available to all universities in the state.

RD Publication and Archiving

Phase 3: Publication or archiving (conversion if necessary) of the RD 

In this phase, the final research data are stored for the long term and possibly published. For this purpose, the same instruments are available as for phase 2:

SDS and heiBOX for larger or smaller data sets

The following instruments are also offered:

heiDATA is the RD repository of the University of Heidelberg. Members of the university can publish and archive RD here. Among other things you can create a permalink to your own RD. In this context a DOI is assigned.

Published research data of members of the university are listed in the university bibliography heiBIB and thus in HEIDI, the online catalogue of the University of Heidelberg.

heidICON is the repository of the University of Heidelberg for images and multimedia data.

What the library offers 

Interface to the KFD

The library of the Mannheim Medical Faculty serves as an interface between biomedical research at the University Medical Centre Mannheim (UMM) and the Competence Centre for Research Data (KFD) of the University of Heidelberg.

When required, the library provides information about the services offered by the Competence Centre and answers general questions regarding research data management (RDM).

Your contact in the library is
Maurizio Grilli
Phone 0621-383-3711

Home visits

Members of the library are happy to visit the UMM facilities to present the services offered by the Competence Centre forResearch Data (KFD) and to answer questions on Research Data Management (RDM).

Your contact in the library is
Maurizio Grilli  Phone

Research data repositories


heiDATA is the research data repository of the University of Heidelberg and is maintained by the Competence Centre for Research Data (see also upper section).

Registry of Research Data Repositories (

  • Detailed information on more than 2,000 research data repositories
  • Reference source for research data infrastructures worldwide
  • Development of minimum requirements for research data storage and framework conditions for subject-specific research data management via Science Europe

Select repositories

The information platform (in German) offers thematically arranged information on research data management - among other things:

Context Column