Data management

Research Data management (RDM) consists of all activities that make and keep research data secure, findable, accessible and comprehensible. The right approach to managing research data is an essential part of the research process. This is not only important from the point of view of research organisation and collaboration but also from the point of view of scientific integrity (transparency of methodology, reproducibility, verifiability and reusability).

Data management refers to planning, collection, organisation, documentation, storage, processing, analysis, archiving, disclosure and re-use of research data.

For more information about the UGent policy concerning RDM, a data management plan (DMP), sharing and storing digital research data (Data Sharing) and privacy and data security, check out this knowledge clip (from the UGent Data Stewards) and consult the web pages of the UGent intranet.

Ghent university has appointed data stewards to provide researchers from PhD student level and up with professional support for Research Data Management. As data stewards, they act as your first point of contact for RDM questions. As advisors, they are here to offer you a helping hand. Laura Standaert is Data Steward for the cluster Life Sciences and Medicine. This cluster comprises the Faculties of Medicine & Health Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

A data management plan (DMP) is a formal document describing how researchers manage the collected data before, during and after the research:

  • how data shall be collected
  • the scope and format of the data
  • the way in which the data shall be stored
  • who shall have access to the data both during and after the research process

This plan also contains information about the legal and ethical aspects of data.

A data management plan is a dynamic document that needs amending regularly.

Ghent University advises the use of as a tool for setting up your DMP (see FAQ ‘Where can I find more advice on setting up a DMP and using’).

Ghent University advises the use of as a tool for setting up your DMP and also contains the GDPR register. also functions as GDPR register for UZ Gent.

Log on to with your UGent username and password or your UZ Gent username and password. Please note that these are 2 separate accounts in, although you are the owner of both. In other words: a DMP created through your UGent account is not visible in your UZ Gent account and vice versa.

Your preparation:

This comprehensive guide is intended to help students and researchers write a DMP for a clinical study. You should preferably read this document before you start using the tool. This document was created by the RDM working group of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Getting started with

The tool has the advantage that you see tips and tricks, examples and direct links to more information or services when you are filling in the questions. For our Medicine and Health Sciences, this ‘guidance’ was drawn up by the RDM working group of this faculty. You can find the guidance by selecting the guidance ‘Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (Clinical trials)’ in the tool. This guidance contains the short version of what can be found in the comprehensive guide. Advice for research that does not fall within the scope of clinical trials is also included in the tool (select  ‘Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (Not clinical trials)’).

In this (sub)search tip “ how do I write a Data Management Plan?” you will find a step-by-step plan to set up a DMP.

Fair data stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable. All efforts in the area of data management are made with the results at the end of the project in mind: your research results are verifiable and the underlying data are reusable.

Want to know more? Check out this knowledge clip from the UGent Data Stewards.

Contact UGent TechTransfer for advice and support in this area.

Data Management Unit van the Health, innovation and research institute (Hiruz) evaluates, implements and supports IT solutions for translational projects, for managing both biospecimen and clinical research data. Contact Hiruz for advice and support in this area.

E-mail is only moderately suitable for this purpose and the size is limited (up to 8MB).

There are commercial services available ( or, for which you are required to create an account. Universiteit Gent advises against using these services to exchange work-related files, due to copyright and security.

If you want to send large files yourself or allow others to send you large files securely, you can use Belnet’s web application FileSender. This tool acts as the intermediary between sender and receiver. FileSender is available for staff and students of research institutions in Belgium, including Universiteit Gent. You can find more information about its use and advantages on UGent’s webpages and Belnet’s website.

Follow a training, request an info session, or attend an event organized by Ghent University’s data stewards. The data stewards deliver different types of training activities and events, either self-initiated, organized in collaboration with the Doctoral Schools or Faculties, or available upon request. All training and events can be found here.