Integration of Research Data Management into Chemistry Studies

Teaching RDM to students early on in their studies is key for a sustainable RDM integration in academia. Our approach at RWTH Aachen as an initial example was recently published in the Journal of Chemical Education.

By now, we already see a growing awareness of research data management (RDM) in academia as researchers start using electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs) for documentation of experiments and publishing their research data in data repositories, providing underlying (raw) data and making them available for reuse by others. Despite this rethinking process in academia, the integration of RDM into academic teaching is not wide-spread and, if at all, in its infancy. However, a sustainable RDM integration in academia can only be achieved by including the topic early on in students’ curricula.


At RWTH Aachen University, we incorporated RDM into chemistry curricula as a hands-on experience by implementing an ELN in a lab course for upper-division undergraduate students, accompanied by learning materials on RDM in general. This integration approach into existing concepts saves the need to develop entirely new curricula. We tracked our approach with a survey among the students, which additionally helps improving teaching materials and concepts.

© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

This process, its development, and the results of the survey during the first three years after RDM integration were recently published in the Journal of Chemical Education. In this research article, we present our integration approach in detail as well as our lessons learned. This may give other researchers, teachers, and educators in academia an inspiration and foundation for own concepts or the opportunity to simply adopt our concept.

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