Research produces large amounts of digital research data every day. To ensure that this data is preserved in the long term and can be found, accessed, reused, and is technically interoperable for both other researchers and the public, this large volume of research data must be managed professionally. For this purpose, eight universities of applied sciences and five universities from Rhineland-Palatinate have signed a cooperation agreement for the Research Data Management Network Rhineland-Palatinate (FDM-RLP).
Because research is often financed by tax revenues, public third-party funders are also increasingly requiring the publication of data on corresponding platforms, called repositories. This poses a great challenge for the researchers themselves and their institutions, as they are asked to generate and process digital data in a quality-assured form, to fully document the processing procedures, and to ensure that the data remains available in the long term. For researchers to be able to meet these requirements, they also need assistance at many stages of the research process from science management and various infrastructural facilities that support them, such as data centers and libraries.
Since 2020, employees from eight universities of applied sciences in Rhineland-Palatinate (Kaiserslautern, Koblenz, Mainz, Trier, Worms, Ludwigshafen, Bingen and the Catholic University of Applied Sciences in Mainz) and five universities (the universities in Mainz, Kaiserslautern, Koblenz-Landau, Trier and the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer) have been regularly exchanging information on the topic of research data management (FDM). This evolved into the state network FDM-RLP, which has now been granted a formal status through a cooperation agreement concluded between the participating universities. The network aims to establish the FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) at the universities in RLP, to facilitate consulting and information services regarding the FDM among the partners involved, and to exchange information with the various consortia for the development of national research data infrastructures (NFDI), with the help of which technical standards and services for research data management are being developed as part of a German Government and Federal State Program (Bund-Länder-Programm). The current coordinators of the FDM-RLP network are Dr. Anne Vieten (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and Marina Lemaire (University of Trier).
The FDM-RLP network is designed to provide support for research data management at universities and universities of applied sciences in Rhineland-Palatinate. The state-wide cooperation now established is another milestone in making digital data from research accessible and usable for third parties.