What is data stewardship?

Data stewardship refers to the long-term and sustainable care for research data. Data stewardship implies professional and careful treatment of data throughout all stages of your research project (i.e., the design, collection, processing, analysis, long-term preservation, and sharing of your research data).

Data stewardship is necessary because you need to:

  • meet legal and ethical requirements, including privacy of study subjects;
  • meet the requirements of research funders;
  • meet the requirements of scientific journals concerning quality and traceability of data;
  • protect your scientific integrity.

Adequate data stewardship ensures that:

  • you have adequate technological resources (e.g., storage space, support staff time);
  • you are able to share your final data set publicly;
  • your data will be robust and free from versioning errors and gaps in documentation;
  • your data is backed up and safe from sudden loss or corruption;
  • your data will remain accessible and comprehensible in the future;
  • your data can be shared with others, for scientific research, commercial development, or validation;
  • your data can be used for healthcare (medical research data).

Frequently Asked Questions