Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

Research Data Management at the Faculty of Humanities

Research data includes all recorded (predominantly digital) information that is necessary to substantiate scientific research. Examples of research data produced at the Faculty of Humanities are text files, images, code, audio files, video files, spreadsheets, databases, surveys, geographical information, computational models, interviews, archaeological finds, etc.

In order to ensure that research outcomes are verifiable and transparent, it is important that research data is managed professionally throughout all stages of a research project. This is also necessary to meet the requirements of funding agencies such as NWO, ZonMw, and ERC. What is more, there are significant benefits of good research management for individual researchers, such as:

  • Increased workflow efficiency.
  • Increased visibility and impact of research results.
  • Increased citations.
  • Enhanced collaboration opportunities.
  • Minimized risk of loss or theft.
  • A boost to your academic profile (datasets are research results as well).

Research Data Management at VU Humanities

  • Guiding Principles Research Data Management

    Research data must be reliable, traceable, and securely stored. This is important in ensuring the observability, controllability, re-use, and (if possible) repeatability of the study. This requires responsible management during the research phase and subsequent sustainable storage, in accordance with the FAIR Principles. In 2016, the FAIR principles were published in the journal Scientific Data to guide researchers and publishers on how to increase the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability of their data. The goal is to ensure that scholarly data can be used as widely as possible. Of course, some types of data (such as personal data) cannot be shared openly. The guiding principle is therefore that research data should be as “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.

    Researchers at the Faculty of Humanities should apply these principles when structuring and preserving their data and/or their other research outputs. More information on how to do so can be found in the different sections below and under the section “Useful documents”. In addition to the FAIR principles, the following legislations and regulations apply: the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (VSNU, 2018), the Standard Evaluation Protocol (SEP, 2015-2021) for independent research assessment, the Medical Research involving Human Subjects Act (WMO), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Dutch law governing their implementation in the Netherlands (UAVG).

  • Before research: Data Management Plan (DMP)

    A data management plan (DMP) is a document that helps researchers to formulate and plan their research. It is meant to offer guidance throughout a research project and a detailed DMP is often the first deliverable after having received a grant from a funding agency. A DMP covers topics such methods used for data collection, licenses, ethical guidelines, storage, and archiving.

    All researchers working with data at the Faculty of Humanities are advised to write a DMP before or at the start of their research project and to contact the faculty data steward ( for advice. Furthermore, PhD candidates at the faculty are required to write a DMP as part of the mandatory course “Writing a Data Management Plan”. During this course, the DMPs will be reviewed by data stewards of the Faculty of Humanities and the University Library.  

    Researchers can use DMPonline to write their DMPs. This tool offers templates from several funders and universities. It also offers researchers the possibility to have their DMP reviewed by data stewards of the RDM support desk. More information on how to write a good DMP can be found here. Please note that a DMP is a working document and needs to be updated over the course of the research project whenever significant changes occur. A funding agency may also need you to send in an updated DMP as part of the grant requirements.

    If a research project involves multiple partners from different institutions, it may also be necessary to draw up a separate Consortium Agreement or a Data Sharing Agreement. Researchers should contact the faculty privacy champion and/or data steward ( for more information. Please note that all partners involved with the processing of data should also be mentioned in a DMP.

  • Before research: Ethics Review and Privacy

    Research in the Humanities frequently involves the (re)use of personal/sensitive data. Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural, living person. Researchers at the VU working with personal data need to comply with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GPPR) and the Uitvoeringswet Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (UAVG). This applies to personal data of any kind, such as text, photographs, databases, videos, audio recordings, etc. If applicable, it is required to take additional steps throughout the whole research data cycle.

    Researchers at the Faculty of Humanities are advised to consult this document concerning privacy in research, and to contact the faculty privacy champion ( for advice on the GDPR and privacy prior to starting their research project.

    Furthermore, researchers working at the Faculty of Humanities who are planning to (re-)use personal data in their research need to contact the Research Ethics Review Committee (ETCO) before commencing their research project ( The Ethical Research Review protocol drawn up the ETCO describes the procedure researchers have to follow in submitting research relating to identified or identifiable natural persons to this committee for review. More information about the ethics review procedure can be found here.

    If a student wishes to carry out research involving privacy-sensitive data solely for the purpose of writing a thesis, the student and thesis supervisor are advised to sign a Data Sharing Statement describing the usage rules of good and safe handling of the research data. The faculty privacy champion ( has a template available for students and their supervisors to use. If the thesis supervisor intends to re-use the data in the future or if she/he wishes to publish the research together with the student, the thesis supervisor is required to submit an application to the ETCO prior to the start of data collection as well.

  • During research: Storage

    During the research project, data has to be stored professionally and securely in order to optimize workflows, to minimize the risk of loss and/or misuse, and to encourage collaboration (if possible). To this end, the VU has several storage solutions available. The Faculty of Humanities recommends to use of the following storage solutions:

    • SurfDrive (for the storage of small and medium-sized datasets).
    • SciStor (for the storage of large datasets).
    • SURFfilesender (for transmitting data securely to researchers in and outside the VU).
    • Research Drive or YODA (for the storage of personal/sensitive data).

    In case you are unsure which storage solution suits your research project best, or if you would like to request access to these storage solutions, contact the faculty data steward ( and/or consult the Storage Finder of the University Library.

  • During research: Security

    Over the course of a research project, it is important to take appropriate steps to ensure research data is protected (see the bullet points below). Depending on the sensitivity of the research data, it may also be necessary to take additional steps to guarantee that information is not exposed to third parties.

    • Make use of a VU-approved storage solution (see above). In the interests of privacy and information security, it is not allowed to use free cloud solutions (such as Dropbox, Google Drive) for any files relating to the university.
    • Storage on portable media (such as USB sticks) or local hard drives must only be temporary and must be transported/stored safely.
    • Backup your research data periodically.
    • Do not open links found in suspicious e-mails. You can forward any suspicious e-mails as an attachment to the IT Service Desk ( so that they can update their security protocols, but then delete the e-mail immediately.
    • Regulate who has access to your research data. You can create shared folders (including levels of access) on the local VU network, on Surfdrive, and on Research Drive. ITvO ( can help you to find a suitable technical solution for your research group or project.

    In the event that a data leak has occurred or if you suspect a data leak has occurred, please contact the IT Service Desk on 020-59 8000 or send an e-mail to

  • After research: archiving

    Upon publication or completion of a research project at the Faculty of Humanities, all research data relevant to the publication or project should be stored (archived) in a trusted repository for a minimum of ten years. This applies both to raw and processed data, including relevant codes and scripts. Metadata should also be archived along with the data (i.e. project name, names of project leaders and other participating researchers, type of data, processing method, software and encryptions used, data access rights, third-party data ownership, storage time, financing of storage, etc.). It is advisable to set out this information in a data management plan at the start of the research project and to supplement it where necessary as the project progresses.

    When archiving research data, researchers can use the facilities provided by VU Amsterdam or DANS (including DataverseNL). Researchers are also free to choose a different storage facility. When doing so, the Faculty of Humanities recommends the use of a repository that has been awarded with a CoreTrustSeal (guaranteeing that the repository is sustainable and trustworthy) and that provides a persistent identifier (a DOI) for your dataset (guaranteeing long term access). Contact the RDM support desk ( or the faculty data steward ( for advice on this matter.

    When archiving personal data, researchers should (at this time) make use of YODA, an archive at the VU suitable for storing personal and/or sensitive data for at least 10 years. To request access to YODA, researchers should contact the RDM Support Desk of the University Library (

  • After research: Registration in PURE

    All researchers at the Faculty of Humanities are required to register their research results (including their datasets) through the PURE  portal. If possible, full texts of articles can be uploaded through this system as well, depending on the journal’s copyright regulations (for more information, researchers should contact the Open Access specialists of the University Library, Research results registered in PURE are publicly findable and available through the national Narcis archive. Why register results?

    • It increases the visibility and findability of your research.
    • It contributes to re-use and transparency.
    • It boosts your collaboration opportunities.
    • It counts towards research evaluations and assessments.

    A guide on how to register research results in PURE is available here.

  • After research: Open Access

    Open Access publishing means that you make your publication freely accessible online to everyone without restrictions. The VU believes that government-funded research should be available free of charge to as many people as possible. In order to stimulate Open Access publishing via the Golden Route, the VU has concluded OA agreements  ('OA deals') with a large number of publishers. When publishing research results, researchers at the faculty are expected to publish as much as possible through open access channels. The Faculty of Humanities encourages researchers to contact the Open Access service of the University Library (, which offers support in publishing research results in open access and in making previous publications accessible to a wider public. More information about this service can be found here.

  • Useful documents