Purpose of this handbook

This handbook provides guidelines on data stewardship as well as links to practical tools for the eight Dutch UMCs. It offers direction and information for all people involved, from researchers to policy makers to developers of IT infrastructure.

It is important to recognize that HANDS is an informal document because it is living. Every UMC still needs to describe its own formal policy on data stewardship (e.g., in the Research Code), but we advise the UMCs to base their formal policies on the shared guidelines described in HANDS. Similarly, this document does not prescribe what infrastructure every UMC should use or apply. Yet, as a part of the Data4lifesciences programme, this handbook formulates guidelines with which general infrastructures can be developed.

Depending on the type of research, practical solutions to any problem can vary to a large extend. Therefore, we often refer to local experts in this handbook. Details on practical help will have to be supplied by the UMCs. This can be done either within this document or within the UMCs or both, but always in a way that researchers can easily find the help they need. Every UMC is advised to set up a central internal helpdesk for questions about data management and data stewardship.