Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Research data management

How to properly manage research data

The FDMentor project develops solutions and guidelines for universities

Researchers from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Universität Potsdam and Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) are working together in a joint project to develop solutions for research data management at universities. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the two-year project FDMentor (research data management mentor) with a total of around 409,000 euros. The aim is to develop strategies, recommendations for action, roadmaps, guidelines and openly reusable materials, so-called Open Educational Resources (OER). The overall project management is carried out by HU's Computer and Media Service. The results of the project are aimed at all German universities that are still at the beginning of the process of professional research data management.

FDMentor brings together the experience and expertise of the five leading universities in Berlin and Brandenburg. The project divides its tasks into four main areas: strategy development, policy development, competence development and networking. For the development of a strategy for research data management, the existing expertise in this network will be evaluated and transferable models, their options for action and practical solutions will be developed.

For policy development, a policy kit is designed as a module- and level-oriented model that can be used by other users directly or in a customized way. A guideline on strategic implementation will also be prepared. For the purpose of competence development, advisory concepts and free reusable training materials (OER) are developed for university staff members who are institutionally entrusted with the topic of research data management or who are responsible for the topic in projects and working groups. The network aims to foster sustainable cooperation between the partners in the consortium and to ensure that the project results serve as a mentoring programme for other universities to enable them to effectively start up their research data management or to facilitate the further development of their research data management. FDMentor's areas of activity are also in line with current recommendations of the German Rectors' Conference and the Council for Information Infrastructures.

Research data and its management is one of the most important and at the same time most challenging topics that researchers in the digital age have to face, as many research processes generate large amounts of digital data. The management of this data is understood to mean all measures that ensure that such data is and remains usable. For this to be successful and sustainable, research data management must be established as an integral part of research processes and a natural component of the everyday research workflows of researchers so that they can actively and consciously shape the life cycle of their research data. Universities have the task of providing the best possible support to researchers by implementing the interaction of their services in a user-oriented manner - both in organisational and technical terms - and thus also enabling them to be linked to the rapid developments in this area at national and international level.

Further information

FDMentor website


Katarzyna Biernacka
Project coordinator FDMentor