Research Data

A precise definition of research data and their differentiation from other data is complex
  • German Research Foundation (DFG):
    Research data is defined by the DFG as data generated in the course of a research project, e.g. source research, experiments, measurements, data collection or surveys, that can be stored in a digital and electronic format. (cf. DFG 2010, German only)
  • European Commission:
    Research data: Refers to information, in particular facts or numbers, collected to be examined and considered as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.
    In a research context, examples of data include statistics, results of experiments, measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images. The focus is on research data that is available in digital form. EU
  • Project re3data:
    Research data is digitally available data that is collected or generated within the framework of research projects (in the broadest sense) and forms the basis of research results, publications, etc.




The range of research data can be represented in a ternary system (triangle). Some typical fields of research data are shown as examples. RD_Triangle




Ownership rights and the resulting rights of use are also more diverse than in scientific publications. The illustration depicts four parties that might be involved in the granting of rights of use.







Research data is often inhomogeneous and may have very differentiated structures, comparable to a tree on whose branches the researchers work and branch them further. The "fruits" of the tree may be e.g. publications.

On the site you will find further information for the individual phases of research data management.
In addition, you will also find information on data journals (German only). The particular advantage of these data descriptions is that they go through a peer review process in accordance with the research articles in classic specialist journals and thus correspond to a high quality standard.
This website is developed and maintained by research institutions of the state of Baden-Württemberg, with the active participation of KIT.