Below you can find answers to the following questions:

General Questions

What does eResearch mean?

The term eResearch denotes the application of digital tools and methods for pursuing and supporting enhanced research. With digital tools and methods we refer for example to Virtual Research Environments (VREs), visualisation techniques, scientific computing (e.g. High Performance Computing, HPC) and all aspects of research data management. Digital technologies enable researchers to work more effectively, more efficiently and more collaboratively. Many of these technologies are already a part of the everyday life of an increasing number of researchers and students.

As Göttingen eResearch Alliance, we support researchers in all phases of the research process on the basis of innovative information and communication technologies to enhance their digital research at the Göttingen Campus. You have questions how to integrate eResearch Methods into your research? Please contact us, we are happy to support you!

Is eResearch the same as eScience, eLearning, eHumanities or the eCampus?

Although the terms eResearch and eScience are often used interchangeably, we consider eScience, according to its original definition, as especially data-intensive research which requires scientific computing. Typical eSciences are particle physics, astronomy, parts of the geosciences and geography and bioinformatics.

eScience as well as eLearning, eHumanities and the eCampus are aspects of eResearch. The term eLearning (electronic learning = use of technological tools in learning) describes the use of a set of electronic or digital media (multi-media) in education. Göttingen University has its own E-Learning Service.
The terms eHumanities or Digital Humanities (DH) refer to (parts of) humanities research in which computational methods and digital resources are used for analysis systematically, such as computational philology, digital history or computational linguistics. The Göttingen Campus is also home to the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities (GCDH).

The eCampus of Göttingen University offers central access for students to relevant online facilities such as SB/UniVZ, Stud.IP, FlexNow, e-mail and much more. The “e” in this case identifies the services as being available online. Just stop by: ecampus.uni-goettingen.de (available only in German).

Questions about the Göttingen eResearch Alliance

What does the Göttingen eResearch Alliance do?

As Göttingen eResearch Alliance, we aim to support the researchers at the Göttingen Campus in all phases of the research process – starting from the planning of research proposals, through the actual project implementation, and its completion. For this, we offer information, consultation and trainings on innovative information and communication technologies.

Our fields of competence are: research data management, Virtual Research Environments (VREs) for collaborative work with digital tools and methods, and publication strategies. Besides, and particularly for information technologies on the Göttingen Campus, we also offer individual IT-counseling and IT-services (Project as a Service) and liaise to experts on the Göttingen Campus. Please do not hesitate and contact us!

Will the eResearch Alliance sell me hardware or a software tool for my research needs?

Our mission is consultation and training, we have no commercial objectives and neither sell hardware nor software. In most cases the IT-representatives of the institutes are responsible for institutional hardware and software purchases. There exist various general agreements with suppliers for buying hardware for private use on the Göttingen Campus. More information can be found on the website of the University’s Computing Centre, GWDG.

We can aid you in finding a suitable software solution or digital tool for your research needs. Some of these offers are for free, others are commercial. Campus license agreements exist for students and researchers for several commercial solutions on the Göttingen Campus. Some examples of campus license agreements can be found on the GWDG website Campus licenses. Some institutes also have individual agreements for discipline-specific software. Please consult your institutional IT-representative first.

Will the eResearch Alliance develop an individualised software tool for my research needs?

Depending on time and effort involved, we usually aim to enhance or adapt existing solutions, on campus or external, to fit your needs. Under certain conditions we can also develop software for your research needs. In the context of attracting third-party funding in cooperation with the Göttingen eResearch Alliance, we can offer you the so-called “Software development as a Service” framework, in order to allocate suitable developer capacities. You can learn more about this offer on our pages here.

Will the eResearch Alliance write my data management plan?

According to the Research data policy of Göttingen University, the creation of a data management plan is a direct responsibility of the researchers on the Göttingen Campus. We provide individual advice to applicants (at the moment primarily for DFG funding) on research data management and for the application of INF projects, which are infrastructure projects assigned to a collaborative research centre. The consulting is tailored to every particular case, and is carried out in close cooperation with the research department of Göttingen University. As Göttingen eResearch Alliance we offer assistance and support, such as trainings, to prepare researchers for the requirements of a modern and sustainable research data management. In addition we provide an increasing amount of material and resources for the creation of research data management plans on our website. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Will the eResearch Alliance evaluate my project proposal?

On behalf of the presidential board and the research commission of Göttingen University, the eResearch Alliance supports the Research Department in questions of data management in project proposals. Therefore we write an advisory statement for the Research Department regarding data management aspects for those proposals to be discussed in the research commission.

In order to make the development of research data management sustainable and cooperative, we offer our consultation to the applicants and read their project proposals with respect to the requirements of data management.

We strive to achieve a reasonable and integrative solution together with you as applicants. The objective of our work is to increase your chances of success for acquiring third party funding. For this reason we would like to discuss with you if central questions are addressed adequately, such as:

  • Documentation and provision of data for reuse
  • Publication strategy (classical formats such as articles and monographs, but also publications of research data)
  • Backup strategy
  • Digital preservation of research data
  • Licenses and other legal aspects

Together with the Research Department we have also developed a guide (only available in German) which provides a collection of aspects we consider in the consultation process.

We are happy to discuss these questions with you personally. Please, contact us!

Data Management Plan

What is a (Research) Data Management Plan ((R)DMP)?

The term “Research Data Management Plan” refers to a document which details the planning, collection, processing and storage of digital research data (and other digital resources) during and after the course of a research project. In a nutshell, a research data management plan describes the life cycle of research data from the planning and collection to processing, analysis and publication and the archival storage, including all measures that have to be taken to guarantee accessibility, reusability and confidentiality of sensitive data.

The advantage for you in writing a research data management plan – even if you may not be obliged to by your funding agency – lies in systematically analysing the requirements for research data management and  recording them in a document before starting a new project. This will enable you to identify lacks of clarity or gaps in processes or responsibilities right from the beginning.

At the moment there exists no standardised form or procedure for writing a research data management plan. The plan should address the existing infrastructure and be adapted to the specific discipline. The topics mentioned above are therefore described as detailed as possible in a research data management plan according to the research data management guideline of the Göttingen University and requirements of third party funders like the DFG.

The Göttingen eResearch Alliance offers information on creating a research data management plan, trainings for data management planning and individual support for research projects. On our page How-To: Data Management Planning we offer a list with tools helping to write a data management plan. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

How do I write a Data Management Plan?

The main difficulty in writing a data management plan lies primarily in getting all the required information from the responsible people. The document should describe the data planning and collection, processing, analysis and publication and the archival storage, including all measures that have to be taken to guarantee accessibility, reusability and confidentiality of sensitive data. It defines the processes and responsibilities in a structured way.

You should try to start by identifying the suitable components of a research data management plan in your discipline and the requirements of your respective funding organisation. Furthermore ask your colleagues about existing expertise at your institution. If data management plans from similar projects or disciplines already exist, they could serve you as a guide. Some examples can be found in the DMP Catalogue by LIBER.

There are other useful tools and resources on the web that can help you with planning your research data management. Take a look at our page on How-To: Data management planning for further information.

Especially with larger projects, we are happy to assist you with individual consulting. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

Research Data Archiving

Will the Göttingen eResearch Alliance archive or backup my research data?

The Göttingen eResearch Alliance does not provide individual backup services, but we are happy to give you advice on the existing backup solutions at the Göttingen Campus and to connect you with experts. On our website you can find information on available solutions for backup and storage at Göttingen Campus.

Backup strategies and solutions are also an important component of our trainings. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

How do I Deposit My Research Data at the End Of a Project For Long Term Preservation In a Repository?

You should take the following steps into consideration before depositing data in a repository:

  • If available, read the data policy and / or the data management plan of your project and verify the decisions and responsibilities recorded there.
  • Decide which data should be published: All data, or for example only those belonging to the respective publications
  • Check under which conditions (e.g. laws and licenses) you are allowed to publish the data, and choose an appropriate license
  • Choose a repository for your data which fits best for your discipline or topic (see below)
  • Check your metadata with the requirements of the chosen repository and amend them if necessary
  • Upload your data and metadata into the repository and apply the selected license
  • Publish your data

For many fields of research there exist national and international discipline specific research data repositories and centres like Pangea (earth and environmental science), DRYAD (natural sciences and medicine), ZBMed (medicine), TextGrid Repository (humanities), GESIS (social sciences) or also the cross-disciplinary repository Zenodo. Helpful online resources for the identification of a suitable repository are for example re3data, PubMed Central or OpenDoar.

Further information can be found on our page How-To: Finding Data and publication repositories.

The eResearch Alliance offers in cooperation with its partners a repository for research data at the Göttingen Campus: GRO.data. Take a look at the service and the user guide. If you are not sure about which repository to choose, or how to proceed with a certain step please do not hesitate and contact us!


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