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    nanoscience and nanotechnology: small is different

Data Management

Data management is the practice of collecting, organizing, storing and protecting data as a valuable resource so they can be found, analysed and reused. Good data management improves visibility, helps minimize errors and protects against data losses, among other benefits. Good research data management is not a goal in itself, but rather the key conduit leading to knowledge discovery and innovation, and to subsequent data and knowledge integration and reuse.

Open access to research data has become applicable by default in Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Programmes. The mandate applies primarily to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Other data can also be provided by the beneficiaries on a voluntary basis, as stated in their Data Management Plans.

Data Management Plan

A Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data management life cycle for the data to be generated, collected and processed by a research project. A DMP should include information on:

  1. what data will be collected, processed and/or generated,
  2. which methodology & standards will be applied,
  3. whether data will be shared/made open access and
  4. how data will be curated & preserved after the end of the project.

Data management plans are requisites of the research projects funded by the European Commission, with some exceptions for actions funded by the ERC. The Commission has provided a template[1] that is of recommended use for the beneficiaries. It is not required to provide detailed answers to all the questions in the first version of the DMP.

Rather, the DMP is intended to be a living document in which information can be made available on a finer level of granularity through updates as the implementation of the project progresses and when significant changes occur. The DMP needs to be updated over the course of the project whenever significant changes arise, such as (but not limited to):

  1. Acquisition of new data.
  2. Changes in consortium policies (e.g. new innovation potential, decision to file for a patent).

Therefore, DMPs should have a clear version number and include a timetable for updates. The DMP should be submitted in the context of the periodic evaluation/assessment of the project. If there are no other periodic reviews envisaged within the grant agreement, an update needs to be made in time for the final review at the latest.

Open Access to research results

Open access to research data is an obligation to the beneficiaries of the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Programmes. In general terms, the research data should be 'FAIR', that is findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable. Several tools, such as institutional repositories, provide support to comply with the FAIR principles.

At IMDEA Nanociencia, the digital archive “Repository of IMDEA Nanociencia” collects the scientific production of the institute, with the aim of preserving and disseminating research results in open access.


• Template for Horizon Europe  projects https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/horizon/temp-form/report/data-management-plan-template_he_en.docx
• Research Data Management Handbook by OpenAIRE https://www.openaire.eu/rdm-handbook
• Argos (DMPs) online https://argos.openaire.eu/explore-plans
• PAGODA Plan de Gestión de Datos del Consorcio Madroño http://www.consorciomadrono.es/investigam/pagoda/