Planning and design

In the first step, "planning and design", important foundations are laid for the further course of the research project. Careful planning of data collection and handling is important so that potential problems can be identified and, if necessary, solved right at the beginning. The planning is recorded in a data management plan.

What is a DMP?

A DMP describes all aspects of managing research data throughout the data’s lifecycle. The document is created at the beginning of a research project.


Research data lifecycle (Graph: ETH Library)

Why a DMP?
  • Reduce the risk of data loss
  • Clear responsibilities for individual stages and a higher probability of valid data
  • Traceability and reproducibility are guaranteed
  • Compliance with good scientific practice
  • Reduction of the effort required for future reuse of data, either in-house or by others
  • Compliance with funding guidelines, e.g., SNF Open Research Data und EU.
How do I create a DMP?

There are different ways to create a DMP. Swissuniversities provides a helpful website for this purpose. Swissuniversities provides a website for this purpose.

Swissuniversities: DLCM 2.0 Projekt
DLCM Checklist DMP (PDF)
DLCM template for the SNSF Data Management Plan (PDF)
Swiss National Science Foundation: Data Management Plan - Guidelines for researchers
Tool for creating a DMP


Adherence to research ethics principles is an integral part of good scientific practice. This also applies to the handling of research data. Ethical aspects must be observed throughout the life cycle of research data. Many journals and publishers require a research ethics clearance before publishing an article.

How do I check the ethical unobjectionability of a research project?

A checklist is available to help you assess the ethical unobjectionability of a research project and whether a review by the HSG Ethics Committee is required. If you answer "yes" to one of the questions, it is recommended that you submit an application for review to the HSG Ethics Committee. If a project deals with medical research on humans, it may have to be submitted to and approved by the Ethics Committee Eastern Switzerland (EKOS).

HSG Ethics Committee
Checklist for the assessment of ethical unobjectionability
Application for review of a research project
Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
European Code for Research Integrity

What is preregistration?

In a preregistration, important information on hypotheses and methods is transmitted to an external body before an empirical study is conducted.

Why preregister?

Preregistration counteracts possible falsification of research results as well as problematic research practices such as "HARKing" (forming hypotheses after the results are known). Preregistration can increase the validity and credibility of studies.

For an introduction, see Nosek et al. (2018). The preregistration revolution. PNAS 115(11), 2600-2606.

Preregistration at the Center for Open Science
The American Economic Association's registry for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) in the fields of economics, political science, and other social sciences.

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