A tool to promote academic ethics developed for research data management

To provide guidance to research and higher education institutions on how to adequately ensure the protection of personal data in scientific research (research data), a working group established by the Office has developed a template form for a research data management plan. It aims to encourage researchers to handle their research data responsibly, especially when it contains personal data, and to open it in accordance with the principles of research ethics, thereby avoiding unethical situations (e.g., falsification of research data, fabrication of research data, misappropriation of research data, unethical authorship).

A research data management plan should be prepared before the start of the research, often in conjunction with an application for a research ethics review. It contains general information about the research, the collection of the research data, metadata, analysis of the research data, storage and backup of the research data, personal data, and the handling of the research data throughout and after the research. It is one of the tools to help ensure that research data is managed in line with the FAIR principles, which require research data to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable.

We hope that this tool will help members of the academic community to prepare for research data management and to comply with international standards of academic ethics.