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The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 13

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.

Making research results available

The materials on which the results of engineering research are based are often experimental artefacts or samples that are unique due to the specific experimental conditions applied. On the other hand, the results of simulation calculations, experimental high-throughput research or high-resolution imaging procedures, for example, comprise very large quantities of data that can quickly amount to several terabytes. In both cases, it is very difficult to make the direct results or raw data available in full; neither would such availability make sense in terms of verifiability and reuse.

In any case, it is important to assess what is necessary and acceptable as a minimum set of information in order to be able to reproduce research results and ensure their compatibility. In connection with non-standardised experiments (whether experimental or theoretical) that are strongly dependent on boundary conditions, particular care must be taken to record these conditions.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL13 (Engineering/engineering sciences)