Ghent University policy

Ghent University policy framework on RDM

Ghent University adopted a policy on RDM in September 2016.

It outlines the general framework for handling research data at the university, and defines basic principles and responsibilities.

Ghent University views RDM as an integral part of good research practice.

Research data are valuable scientific output that should be made available for the verification of research and for reuse where possible.

However, (temporary) restrictions on access to research data may be necessary, e.g. to protect personal or otherwise confidential data, or to seek protection of research results under intellectual property rights.

Ghent University considers RDM as a shared responsibility:

  • The central administration is committed to gradually developing university-wide support services for RDM.
  • Faculties can take more domain-specific initiatives to encourage good RDM practices in accordance with the general policy framework.
  • Individual researchers are responsible for the careful management of research data in line with the policy's provisions.

In a nutshell, Ghent University’s RDM policy framework expects researchers to:

  1. Comply with relevant legal and other external obligations (e.g. GDPR, funder requirements, ethical codes, contractual obligations with third parties).
  2. Plan for data management, preferably by writing a Data Management Plan.
  3. Adequately document research data.
  4. Securely store and process data during the research process.
  5. Preserve relevant data and accompanying documentation for a minimum of 5 years after completion of the research project/project funding, or after publication (whichever comes later).
  6. Provide access to data within UGent for scientific integrity review, and share them more widely where possible, taking into account any restrictions that may be required.

As the RDM landscape is continually evolving, the Ghent University Policy Framework will be periodically updated.

BOF- and IOF-funded research

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is required for research funded via UGent (BOF and IOF) that is granted from 2020 onwards.


As a researcher, you are expected to:

  • Submit a first version of your DMP no later than 6 months after the official start date of your project or fellowship/scholarship.
  • Keep this DMP up to date during the course of your research.
  • Submit a final version of the DMP no later than 3 months after the end of the project or fellowship/scholarship.
Send your DMP to the Research Co-ordination Office via (for BOF projects/fellowships) or (for IOF projects). To draft it, you can use one of the DMP templates that are available to Ghent University researchers via the online planning tool  

If you want to use a DMP template not available via, please contact .


The DMP requirement applies to all types of BOF and IOF projects and fellowships/scholarships, with the exception of:

  • BOF-ZAP positions
  • BOF funding for coordinating positions (university-wide centers of expertise, IDC consortia) and for collaborations (association and alliance initiatives)
  • BOF research equipment

European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity


Ghent University's Board of Directors endorsed the revised edition of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity by ALLEA (All European Academies) in March 2018.

The Code includes a dedicated section on data management. It lists a number of expectations for individual researchers and their institutions:

  • Ensuring appropriate stewardship and curation of all data and research materials, including unpublished ones, with secure preservation for a reasonable period.
  • Ensuring that access to data is as open as possible, as closed as necessary and where appropriate in line with the FAIR Principles.
  • Providing transparency about how to access or make use of their data and research materials.
  • Acknowledging data as legitimate and citable products of research.
  • Ensuring that any contracts or agreements relating to research outputs include equitable and fair provision for the management of their use, ownership, and/or their protection under intellectual property rights.

Related University policies

Ghent University also has a number of other policies and regulations that are relevant to RDM, and with which researchers are expected to be familiar: