During your project

Research data management enhances a more efficient research process when you keep a number of things into account when you collect your data, store your data and analyze your data.

Collecting data

Using secundary data

When you are using secundary data from institutions like the OECD for example, or open data created by other researchers (reuse) we recommend you check which copyright license has been assigned to the dataset.

Read the informed consent that is used for that dataset and make sure it is applicable for your research too.


Handling your data responsibly

Researchers may have ethical or legal obligations to maintain confidentiality and to protect the privacy of research subjects, or may have other circumstances requiring secure data storage or restricted access to data.



It's a good idea to start documenting/describing your data in this stage of the research process.  This way you will have a reliable way of remembering which decisions you took about your data and why you took those decisions.  It is also necessary when you want to make your data available to others.

Not every file format is appropriate for archiving.  Take a look at which formats are and try to use them as much as possible already.  This way you will save time at the end of your project.

Storage and back-up (short term)

Here we are talking about active data still used for ongoing research.

Where can I store data?

Ghent University recommends to use the university's infrastructure as much as possible.

For staff members of EB10 and EB11 (Henleykaai): you can only access central storage solutions (:/H and :/S) through Athena's file explorer.

Other possibilities are:

For more information on other storage possibilities please contact .


Data Management

Even if you use a safe place to store your data disasters are still not far away.  Here you can find some tips to store and manage your data safely so you can avoid many kinds of calamities.

Tip. Make sure always 2 staff members have access to the data.  Preferably 1 staff member directly envolved with project and 1 autonomous academic staff member connected to Ghent University.

Analyzing data

Cloud services

Ghent University advices against the use of cloud services such as Dropbox because they can't guarantee a continuity of service and mainly because most of them don't follow EU privacy laws.  In case it is absolutely necessary to use a cloud service for an international connection:

  • Make sure you're well aware of which country hosts the cloud service and what privacy laws are applicable.
  • Read the Terms of Service carefully and make sure you know what kind of serive guarantees they offer in case of data loss, system failures or even bankruptcy.

Some cloud services are considered relatively 'safe':

  • Cloud services (OneDrive, EUDAT, Open Science Framework, Belnet, etc.)