Institutional Policy on Research Data Management

This translation was made for information purposes and was not validated by the rectorate. In case of dispute, only the French version is binding.


  1. This institutional policy applies to research data derived from observation, experimentation, or existing sources that are used as primary sources for scientific research and are required to validate research results[1]. It applies to research data created, or acquired for free or at a cost, in the context of research projects conducted at the University of Geneva and financed by external or internal funds.
  2. Since scientific research is largely financed by public funds, the University pays close attention to the promotion, dissemination and accessibility of research results and data generated within its walls.
  3. In order to promote and maintain the excellence of scientific research, the University recognizes the importance of the research data produced by its researchers and supports the principle of good data management throughout their life cycle in accordance with the standards in the field.
  4. Researchers, and more broadly the University, shall ensure that they retain as much control as possible over the rights to research data and do not cede them to third parties (e.g. commercial publishers).
  5. Any decision concerning the long-term preservation of research data will be based on their usefulness and quality, as well as on the possibilities of reuse. Similarly, economic, technical, legal, and administrative considerations must be considered, so that the actions to be taken for archiving and sharing are bearable by the entity in charge of this mission and, more generally, by the University.
  6. The requirements of research funding bodies are evolving, particularly in terms of open access to scientific information and research data management. To enable researchers to act in accordance with these external policies, the University will comply with them to the best of its ability.

Responsibilities of the University

  1. Infrastructure - The University aims to provide researchers, possibly in partnership with other institutions, with adequate, robust and economically viable infrastructure for the management of research data (storage space, software, etc.). It aims to ensure the maintenance and proper functioning of these infrastructures. It achieves this goal within the limits of available resources and favors, when possible, the sharing of infrastructure with other academic and scientific institutions. Some data may be preserved in storage spaces other than those offered by the University, in particular when disciplinary practices or technical or legal requirements demand it.
  2. Services and assistance - The University is committed to offering support services related to research data management for researchers, such as awareness-raising activities, good practice guides and recommendations, as well as training and personalized support for the institution's researchers. Depending on the cases, this service offer will be developed internally or in collaboration with other research institutions.

Responsibilities of researchers

  1. Responsibility - The principal investigator is the person of reference who initiates and conducts the research project. In this capacity, he/she is responsible for managing the research data of the project concerned and is accountable to the University and to the third parties concerned. He/she assumes this responsibility in close collaboration with the other researchers associated with the project.
  2. Legal and Regulatory Aspects - Researchers must comply with current legislation, contractual and academic obligations, as well as with the requirements of funders that apply to research data. If their projects involve the use of data held and made available by third parties, researchers must also comply with the licenses and terms of use for such data.
  3. Ethics and Privacy - Data that are subject to special legal and ethical requirements, such as those relating to the privacy of individuals, will be handled appropriately by researchers.
  4. Research Integrity - Researchers at the University conduct their work in accordance with the applicable rules, particularly in terms of scientific integrity[2], and in accordance with the particular practices and constraints of their discipline.
  5. Data Management - Researchers must ensure that their research data are of good quality, thoroughly described, identified, preserved and, if necessary, disseminated. In general, the use of a Data Management Plan (DMP) [3] is recommended, or even required depending on the conditions applicable to the research project concerned.
  6. Access to Research Data - Research data that have been selected by the researchers for preservation, such as those cited in a publication, will be made available as widely as possible, particularly when public funding has been received for the conduct of the research project.

[3] This document defines what data will be created and how, makes explicit the processes for preserving and sharing the data, and specifies constraints related to the nature of the data or to technical, administrative or legal restrictions.