Scientific Data Management

The GWDG, as IT competence and the data center supports all scientific disciplines in the development of strategies for the management of research data, as well as in the planning and implementation of appropriate solutions. This starts often with the definition of strategic objectives, the advice on writing grant proposals, and sums up in the technical implementation and operation of individual solutions in modern data centers.

Competence at all Levels

Research data is one of the most important assets in every research organization. Therefore, it must be firmly embedded in the strategy of any research institution and has to be involved closely in the processes of the organization. Figure 1 shows how data management is involved in core processes such as planning of institute objectives, research activities, teaching and project work. Additionally, non-organizational factors such as the culture of the institute, individual work styles, efficiency and employees must be taken into account. For this, the GWDG provides support at all levels of research data management and helps customers with proven standard solutions and individual developments, which are capable of handling even complex research projects.

Figure 1 - Scientific data management as strategic goal in the research organization

Support for research data strategy

The consultants of the GWDG offer assistance in all matters relating to implementation of research data management in your scientific organization:

  • Strategic advice and workshops in research data management for scientific decision-makers, leaders and (young) scientists
  • Identification of strategic goals in research data management and definition of Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
  • Creation of Technology Reviews for improving and securing of investment decisions
  • Assessment and evaluation of solutions for securing good scientific practice and the requirements of funders in research data management
  • Development and testing of information management policies, workflows and processes

The strategy development of GWDG considers the necessary steps to support your research questions and publication activities, helping researchers to take clear measures and technical decisions based on clear facts and figures. The GWDG can accompany you in all steps or even in some aspects contribute expertise to advance a clear implementation. Chart 2 summarizes this process.

Figure 2 - Implementation of the Research Data Strategy as a measurable result

Technical Implementation and Integration

As an IT service provider, the GWDG offers full support for the technical implementation of research data management and allows operation from standard solutions up to custom-built systems, which also supports complex research problems. This is essential, because research data management is also a technical challenge, as scientific data can vary in size and structure depending on research methodology, equipment and work style. The GWDG as data center offers the possibility to cope with larger amounts of data and through the fiberglass network in Göttingen and the DFN-powered internet uplink to transported even largest data sets from you data sources into the data centers of the GWDG for storage and processing. The GWDG offers:

  • Safe operation of data storage and infrastructure for research data management in a modern, certified data center
  • Technical integration of research equipment, IT equipment and scientific software for research data management and long-term archiving suitable for all disciplines
  • Software development for individual realization of complex solutions
  • Operation and extended development of existing research data platforms with supporting operational concepts and service contracts
  • Project management and control of data management projects through PRINCE2 certified project staff

Figure 3 - Research Data Management as challenges in the areas of organization, work processes, technology and science methodology

Solid services for the campus and the Max Planck Society

The GWDG offers its customers a wide range of standard services that can be used for the realization of research data management:

HSM Archive solution

For long-term storage and archiving of research data, every GWDG customer can archive research data from a completed project or large data collections on low-cost storage. For this, the GWDG operates a Hierarchical Storage System (HSM), which includes a disk and a tape robot system. More information is available at the page of Data Archiving.

Persistent Identifier Services

The GWDG is member of the European Persistent Identifier Consortiums and also member of Data Cite. With these services, the GWDG offers researchers the possibility to tag research data directly with Persistent Identifier (PID) based on the Handle System, to make data sets ready for long-term referencing in publications and repositories.


Sonderforschungsbereich 963 - Astrophysikalische Strömungsinstabilität und Turbulenz

The GWDG supports the collaborative research center (CRC) 963 as a partner in the INF project and provides the scientists in this project the following support:

  • Development of the CRC 963 specific archiving system that allows an upload of research data from the measurement computers in the labs and the parallel computers GWDG
  • Development and support of data management policy with scientists
  • Implementation and operation of a project management system for the CRC
  • Operation of all archive systems
  • Consultancy and workshops on data management
  • Migration of SVN repositories and coaching on source code management
  • Help Desk and on-site service for the archiving service

Figure 4 - Archiving process in the Collaborative Research Center 963

Collaborative Research Center 1002 - Modulatory units in heart failure

The GWDG supports Collaborative Research Centre 1002 at the Department of Medical computer science of UMG Göttingen with the supply and development of software modules for implementing the research data management. For this purpose the GWDG supplies following services to the UMG:

  • Introduction of a Drupal 7 site platform for the operation of various software modules
  • Development of a module for the management of laboratory books
  • Realization of a complex rights and roles system to protect research data
  • Development of a literature-management module with links to PubMed
  • Development of a module for the management of antibodies (currently under development)
  • Support for the management of ultrasound images
  • Operation of all data management systems


The EU project PERICLES is situated in the area of long-term preservation of digital data heritage. It is the study of methods and services for preserving the life cycle of digital objects. Pericles pursues a “preservation-by-design” approach to get from a posteriori archiving path towards the integration of the necessary processes in everyday life.

The GWDG works in the project PERICLES at the overall architecture, as well as the integration of individual contributions from other project partners. In this project the GWDG shares its expertise in the fields of long-term data archiving, cloud computing and storage, and IT service management.

soeb 3 VFU

The aim of the project is the development of the prototype of a virtual research environment (VFU) that supports a collaborative use of social science research data. It is conducted in the context of the project “Third Report on the socioeconomic development in Germany”. In an introduction and development phase of 21 months the VFU portal was designed, planned and build. The GWDG developed in the data management middleware in the project and was responsible for integrating the different digital tools in one Liferay-based web portal.

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