SNSF Open Research Data

In 2017, the SNSF published an Open Research Data policy statement and amended the guidelines for its project funding. As of October 2017, new research proposals must contain a data management plan (DMP) in which the applicants describe what kind of digital research data is generated, how they handle, archive and publish the data. This now also applies to the SNSF career funding schemes Ambizione, PRIMA and Eccellenza.

In addition, research data shall be published unless there are legal, ethical or other constraints. The publication also includes data documentation, protocols and programs for data generation.

The new SNSF policy aims to promote the reuse of data from publicly funded research as well as to increase the efficiency of research as redundant data collection can be prevented.

As an applicant please note the following points:

Create a Data Management Plan (DMP): A DMP is considered as an integral part of the grant application. The SNSF provides a form in the mySNF portal in order to complete and submit the DMP. The following topics are part of the SNSF DMP:

  1.     Data collection and documentation
  2.     Ethics, legal and security issues
  3.     Data storage and preservation
  4.     Data sharing and reuse

See also:

Eligible costs: The SNSF allows applicants to request up to CHF 10'000 for data preparation, data validation and data upload if the data is deposited in a non-commercial repository. It is permissible to choose a commercial repository if it's more suitable, but in this case only the costs for data preparation and validation are eligible.

DMP as a notice of intention: The submitted DMP is considered as a notice of intention where you declare your intention to manage the research data in an appropriate manner. The SNSF checks the DMP for plausibility and adherence to the Open Research Data policy. Although it is not part of the scientific evaluation, a plausible DMP is a prerequisite for any transfer of funding.

Update your DMP: You can edit and adapt the contents of the DMP during the entire lifetime of your project. Please do so according to the development of the project.

Publication of your DMP: The final version of the DMP will be made available on the SNSF's P3 database. This will facilitate the access and reuse of your datasets as well as increase the visibility and impact of your research.

Publish your research data: The SNSF expects that the relevent data underlying a publication, the corresponding metadata and the documentation will be publicly accessible in order to make the published results reproducible. Depending on the community standards of the discipline, these could either be raw data or processed data.  

When working with sensitive data, anonymization or pseudonymization procedures must be considered at an early stage of the project. Sensitive data, even if not published, must also be archived.

Find a suitable repository: We recommend that you choose a non-commercial, discipline-specific repository for storing your research data in order to achieve the greatest possible visibility for your research data. You can find discipline-specific and generic repositories in the global directory www.re3data.org. A repository must meet the SNSF's minimum requirements according to the FAIR data principles (see doi: 10.1038/sdata. 2016.18). The SNSF provides a checklist for this purpose (see the guidelines paragraph 5.1).

Please consider the following points when selecting a non-commercial repository on www.re3data.org:

  1. As soon as you reached the selected repository details page on www.re3data.org, click on the "Institutions" tab and check all entries where "Type of institution" is set to "commercial" .
  2. If for one of those commercial institutions the "Type(s) of responsibilty" is set to "technical" and/or "general", then the repository is considered as commercial according to the SNSF. If all the "Type(s) of responsibilty" entries are set to "funding" and/or "sponsoring", then the repository is considered as non-commercial (cf. SNSF: re3data).

The SNSF maintains a list of non-commercial generic/general purpose repositories on its website in case you do not find a discipline-specific repository for your data.

Recording of the SNSF Information Event (in German), 13.9.2017 (UZH Zentrum)