This handbook provides guidelines on data stewardship as well as links to practical tools. It offers direction and information for all people involved in data stewardship, from researchers to policy makers, to developers of IT infrastructure.
It is important to recognise that HANDS is an informal document because it is living. Every UMC also describes its own formal policy on data stewardship (e.g., in the Research Code), but the deans of the UMCs have agreed 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 considerably. Therefore, we have developed a Toolbox that is complementary to this handbook. In this Toolbox, the UMCs have provided details on practical help 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.