Data Management Plan | Assemble+

Data Management Plan

Version: January 2019

ASSEMBLE Plus is funded by Horizon2020 and participates in its Open Research Data Pilot. This places certain requirements on the management of data and publications resulting from ASSEMBLE Plus funding. The following points are therefore important to take on board if using ASSEMBLE Plus Transnational Access (TA) services:

  1. A Data Management Plan must be submitted
  2. The research (meta)data must be placed for long-term storage in a research data repository
  3. The research data are expected to be Open Access, but valid opt-outs are allowed
  4. The publications must be stored in an Open Repository

This document explains what these four points mean for a TA user.

1: A Data Management Plan (DMP) must be submitted.
Your data management plan will explain what sort of data is being collected/created and how it will be made FAIR.

FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-useable. This concept was developed to make science more openly accessible and to give data a life beyond the particular project it was collected for. The idea is that people should be able to

  • Find your data – so it needs to be archived and it needs to have metadata attached to it so it can be searched for
  • Access your data – the archive needs to be accessible by anyone and needs to conform to standards for data access
  • Interoperate with your data – it must be possible for people to be able to read your data, to be able to load it into a software or application that is commonly used
  • Re-use your data – the data should be open access, i.e. anyone can download and use it, however exceptions are allowed here.

What this means, and how to take these principles into account while writing a DMP, are explained in the Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020. These guidelines were used to create the DMP template that we provide to all TA users (this template and these instructions can both be obtained from our Download Area). To reduce the workload for the TA user to a minimum, the template provides suggested responses that already take into account the general data management approach used by ASSEMBLE Plus.

2: The research (meta)data must be placed for long-term storage in a research data repository.
Your data should be stored in an archive where its long-term survival is guaranteed and where other interested parties can find and – depending on the access rights set – download and use the data. For the ASSEMBLE Plus project, it has been decided that all data must be stored in the EMBRC/ASSEMBLE Plus repository in the Marine Data Archive (MDA). You are of course free to choose any other online data repository as well.

(Note: the Marine Data Archive v2 will soon be released, upon which the link above will change. In any case, we ask you to please send an email to before you store your data in the MDA.)

Metadata must be stored along with your data. Metadata are descriptions of data (date, location, species, scientific topic, units, parameters, etc…) and it is these that allow someone else to find the data, and help them interpret and re-use them. Metadata have their own standards (some examples are listed by the Digital Curation Centre and Wikipedia). In the proccess of storing your data in the MDA, the form that is used directs you to the metadata that you need to add, and provides the necessary dictionaries to select some of the metadata from. Please be generous when doing this – too much metadata is better that too little! Send an email to when you are ready to place your data in the MDA and we can help you with this process.

3. The research data are expected to be Open Access, but valid opt-outs are allowed.
According to the H2020 Guidelines to the Rules on Open Access, Open Access (OA) refers to providing online access to scientific information that is free of charge to the end-user and is re-usable. As a participant in the Open Research Data Pilot, ASSEMBLE Plus expects that the TA users’ data will be made OA upon publication of the scientific paper or after two years of data collection. However, the user can close of all or some access if they have valid reasons (opt out) – some examples are given in the template. These data and reasons need to be mentioned in the DMP.

4. The publications must be stored in an Open Repository.
Your institute or research group may already use a particular archive, and ASSEMBLE Plus asks that all TA users put their publications in the ASSEMBLE Plus Open Repository – send an email to when you are ready to do this. To be able to place your publication in such an archive requires agreement of the journal, which means you should select a journal that allows for Green or Gold access (see e.g. this Wikipedia explanation or the Horizon2020 document for more detail), i.e. fully open acces or accessible via an Open Repsitory. A list of Green and Gold journals can be found at the bottom of this page on the SHERPA/RoMEO site, and via links on this page of the UCD library.

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