Organization, Research Data Management, and Policies

Central organizational support for data management is provided by the Research Data Management Unit at IfADo.

The Dortmund Vital Study is funded by the institute’s budget. Thus, the study design, collection, management, analysis, interpretation of data, writing of the report, and the decision to submit any reports for publication is not influenced by or biased toward any sponsor.

Research data are stored on IfADo servers as working copies, as proof of good scientific practice, for reuse, and for legal and contractual requirements. Research data are stored and analyzed without reference to the personal data of the participants. Personal data (such as name and contact data required for re-invitation) are physically separated from the research data (pseudonymization).

The first run of the Dortmund Vital Study (2016-2021) was conducted with approval from the local Ethics Committee of the IfADo in 2015 (approval number: A93-1). Follow-up testing was approved in July 2021 by the Ethics Committee of the IfADo (approval number: A93-3).

Data access and use

To access research data, scientists of IfADo, as well as external cooperation partners planing to analyze data from the Dortmund Vital Study fill in a proposal form including a short description of the project and the responsible persons. The requested research data will be made available in an anonymized form after consultation with the scientists responsible for the data. Responsible persons include project managers and coordinators of the Dortmund Vital Study in consultation with the IfADo Research Data Management Unit. External scientists who are interested in a cooperation, are ask to contact the coordinators of the Dortmund Vital Study via email:

After primary analyses and publication of the main results, the research data and the scripts used for data analyses shall be made available in repositories for secondary analyses. The transfer agreement will be prepared by the coordinators of the Dortmund Vital Study in consultation with the IfADo Research Data Management Unit. Data access will be restricted and will require a structured project proposal. Interoperability will be guaranteed by metadata included in the SQL database and common data formats (eg, BIDS) to enhance exchange, management, and documentation. Data identifiers (digital object identifiers) will be assigned at least until the end of the projects.