The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)
Providing public access to research results
As a rule, researchers make all results available as part of scientific/academic discourse. In specific cases, however, there may be reasons not to make results publicly available (in the narrower sense of publication, but also in a broader sense through other communication channels); this decision must not depend on third parties. Researchers decide autonomously – with due regard for the conventions of the relevant subject area – whether, how and where to disseminate their results. If it has been decided to make results available in the public domain, researchers describe them clearly and in full. Where possible and reasonable, this includes making the research data, materials and information on which the results are based, as well as the methods and software used, available and fully explaining the work processes. Software programmed by researchers themselves is made publicly available along with the source code. Researchers provide full and correct information about their own preliminary work and that of others.
In the interest of transparency and to enable research to be referred to and reused by others, whenever possible researchers make the research data and principal materials on which a publication is based available in recognised archives and repositories in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Restrictions may apply to public availability in the case of patent applications. If self-developed research software is to be made available to third parties, an appropriate licence is provided.
In line with the principle of “quality over quantity”, researchers avoid splitting research into inappropriately small publications. They limit the repetition of content from publications of which they were (co-)authors to that which is necessary to enable the reader to understand the context. They cite results previously made publicly available unless, in exceptional cases, this is deemed unnecessary by the general conventions of the discipline.
The decision to publish
When deciding on whether research results are to be published, the researchers responsible for the results should generally make the decision. In particular, the question of publication should not be subject to dependency relationships (employment/service).
Exceptions to this principle may arise from contracts with third parties, such as in the case of a publication requirement in the context of third-party funding (e.g. under the DFG Clinical Trials Programme and certain BMBF funding programmes).
Further exceptions to this principle may arise when the rights of third parties are affected, such as in the context of security-related or contract research. The explanatory notes to Guideline 13 already refer to the exception in connection with patent applications. A case-by-case decision is always required in that instance.
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