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Phone: +49 (0)221 478-5685

Cologne Site

Medicine and Health

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Gleueler Straße 60
50931 Cologne (Köln)

Bonn Site

Nutritional, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences

ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences
Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 4
53115 Bonn




An infrastructure and research centre for data and information in the life sciences.

Life sciences research needs a solid infrastructure.

ZB MED carries out the applied research required to achieve this.


Data stewardship in German academic research institutions – Analysis of the status quo and recommendations on training requirements and job profiles

Research data management (RDM) is taking on increasing importance in projects, institutions and research alliances. This has given rise to new roles and job profiles that have so far been implemented in very different ways. In particular, the development of Germany’s national research data infrastructure (NFDI) has highlighted the wide variety of expectations as to how RDM tasks should be performed in the research environment. Recently, some organisations have sought to combine these expectations into the job profile of a data steward, though it is not yet clear exactly what roles and responsibilities such a position should entail.

ZB MED and the University and City Library of Cologne therefore launched a collaborative project to explore how the concept of a data steward fits into the current academic research environment and how it is interpreted by the various stakeholders. 

Two main objectives were pursued: to determine the current state of knowledge about the situation and needs of different stakeholder groups, and to derive recommendations for policy and practice. First, an analysis was carried out to determine the status quo. This was based on relevant literature and job advertisements, as well as qualitative interviews. On this basis, focus group discussions were held with various stakeholders. The results of the analyses, interviews and discussions were incorporated into the final report with concrete recommendations for action.

ZB MED’s role in the project

ZB MED was involved at every stage of the process. Its unique perspective, experience and networks offer researchers the support they need to delve deeper into the topic of research data management.


February 2022 – November 2022

Funding bodies

Federal Ministry of Education and Research


University and City Library of Cologne