NWO stimulates optimal access to research data

July 20, 2016 NWO stimulates optimal access to research data

Dealing with research data responsibly is part of good research. Therefore all calls for proposals that NWO publishes after 1 October 2016 will contain a data management protocol. In this protocol, NWO will ask all researchers who apply for funding to think in advance about relevant data that their research will yield and how they can share this with other researchers. NWO will ask researchers awarded funding to produce a concrete plan for storing their data and making this reusable.

First section only, then plan

Each call for proposals that NWO publishes after 1 October will contain a data management section. The completion of this data management section will be a compulsory part of the application but it will not be a criterion for obtaining funding. In this section NWO will ask the researcher applying for funding to answer four short questions. The questions are about which relevant data the research will generate and how the researcher can store these in a sustainable manner and make them accessible for reuse.

After a research project has been awarded funding, NWO will ask the researcher to draw up a concrete data management plan. The data management plan can be adjusted during the research. NWO will only award the funding after the plan has been approved. At the end of a research project, NWO will check whether the plan has been adequately followed and whether relevant data has indeed been stored sustainably and made publicly accessible. Any costs associated with storing data are eligible for funding.


In 2015 NWO carried out a successful pilot with the data management protocol during a number of funding rounds, including Vici. This revealed that researchers do not experience any problems with providing a data management plan. Based on the positive experiences with this pilot, NWO has now decided to implement the data management protocol in all funding instruments.

For more information, please visit the NWO website and their Q&A on data management

Source: NWO press release July 20, 2016