Open Access to Research Data

A fundamental feature of modern research is that results can be replicated, verified, falsified and/or reused for other purposes. In the digital age, this means open access to research data on the Internet which considers intellectual property rights and ethical standards.

The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) expects open access to research data1 collected and/or analysed using FWF funds for projects approved from 1 January 2019 under the new guidelines.

  • Open access is mandatory for research data on which the research publications of the project are based. Research data are all data necessary to reproduce and to verify the results of the publications, including the associated metadata. These data should be published as soon as possible, but at the latest together with the corresponding research publication. If, for legal, ethical or other reasons, open access to these data is not or only partially possible, this must be explained in the Data Management Plan (DMP), (see Research Data Management).

  • Open access to all other research data from a project is at the discretion of the principal investigator. This includes curated data that cannot be directly assigned to a publication or raw data, including the associated metadata. In any case, such data must also be described in the Data Management Plan (DMP), (see Research Data Management).

Criteria for Open Research Data

All research data and their metadata should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (fulfil the FAIR Principles) and the following criteria must apply:

Acknowledgement: Like in the case of publications, the FWF should also be mentioned for research data (e.g., in the metadata). The following naming convention must be observed in all cases:
Austrian Science Fund (FWF): project nummer


Open access activities and compliance with the Open Access Policy must be documented in the final report to the FWF. This is done by specifying the persistent identifiers (e.g., DOI) under which the research data can be viewed and downloaded.


Katharina Rieck

1 For a definition of research data and similar materials, see: Concordat on Open Research Data (2016)