Comment on:

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

Guideline 12


Researchers document all information relevant to the production of a research result as clearly as is required by and is appropriate for the relevant subject area to allow the result to be reviewed and assessed. In general, this also includes documenting individual results that do not support the research hypothesis. The selection of results must be avoided. Where subject-specific recommendations exist for review and assessment, researchers create documentation in accordance with these guidelines. If the documentation does not satisfy these requirements, the constraints and the reasons for them are clearly explained. Documentation and research results must not be manipulated; they are protected as effectively as possible against manipulation.


An important basis for enabling replication is to make available the information necessary to understand the research (including the research data used or generated, the methodological, evaluation and analytical steps taken, and, if relevant, the development of the hypothesis), to ensure that citations are clear, and, as far as possible, to enable third parties to access this information. Where research software is being developed, the source code is documented.

Technical systems and metadata

In the engineering sciences and in some areas of the natural sciences, technical/experimental systems along with their hardware and software are usually made up of a mixture of commercial and self-created components that are described in terms of their basic function and defined according to their key properties. Documentation of such systems can never be complete, since there can be virtually any number of description parameters. It is crucial to document the properties and parameters relevant to the research question, however.

When designing technical and experimental systems, care should ideally be taken to ensure that, over and above the generation of research data, metadata generation is as automated and standardised as possible, with the possibility of linking to electronic laboratory books.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL12 (Engineering/engineering sciences) , GL12 (Natural sciences)