IMI and Data Management

Recipe metadata

identifier: RX.X

version: v1.0

Difficulty level

Reading Time

10 minutes

Recipe Type

Background Information

Executable Code


Intended Audience

Principal Investigators

Data Managers

Data Scientists

Starting with IMI2 and the stipulation of article 29.2 of the new IMI-JU Grant Agreement [1], if they elect to disseminate results, rather than patent and exploit them, IMI2 grant awardees must ensure that all published peer reviewed publications produced using data generated during IMI projects must be made open access.

From Call 11 onwards, all IMI2 projects participate by default in the Horizon 2020 Open Research Data Pilot (ORDP), covered by Article 29.3 of the IMI2 Grant Agreement. Although IMI2 encourages grant awardees to remain part of the ORDP, grant awardees retain the right to opt-out if necessary. The reasons for withdrawing from the ORDP should however be documented in the Data Management Plan.

Publication and Open Access Dissemination

If the publication route is following, awardees must comply with the following protocol:

  1. deposit publications in repositories (online archive);
  2. provide open access to publications and related bibliographic metadata.
  • The European Commission guidelines encourage authors to retain their copyright and grant adequate licences to publishers. Creative Commons offers useful licensing solutions (e.g. CC BY). This type of licence is a good legal tool for providing open access in its broadest sense.

  • The bibliographic metadata must be in a standard format and must include all of the following:

    • the terms Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking, European Union (EU), Horizon 2020, and [insert names of the JU members other than the EU] and [insert name(s) of the associated partner(s)]
    • the name, acronym and grant number of the IMI action/project
    • the publication date, and length of embargo period if applicable
    • a persistent identifier.

The IMI also requires participants to ensure that all projects related publication output is kept up to date via the IMI Participant Portal using 3 possible routes:

  1. by registering the publication in the Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE). Each project has its own page on OpenAIRE, featuring project information, related project publications and data sets, and a statistics section.

Figure 1: The IMI FAIRplus page as viewed from the OpenAIRE Explore site

  1. by encoding the publication’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
  2. by entering manually the full reference data.

IMI projects and Data Management Plan (DMP)

When an IMI grant awardee elects to remain part of the Open Research Data Pilot, the awardee should take all necessary measures to enable third parties to access, mine, exploit, reproduce and disseminate (free of charge for any user) this research data. This starts with devising a Data Management Plan (DMP) and keeping it up to date throughout the projects, for instance by providing regular (every 6 months) updates.

The initial version of the DMP should be submitted within the first 6 months of start of the project.

How to organise the DMP?

  • An example of an annotated Horizon 2020 DMP template for Health projects is available [3].

The DMP should be augmented as the project progresses. Updates should be made whenever significant changes occur, and, at a minimum, in line with project reviews.

Ideally, DMP produced by IMI projects should identify:

  • all the different data types (e.g. medical images, gene expression profiles, safety data)
  • a set of well established, community data standards (syntax and semantic solutions)
  • the data repositories vetted by the community or endorsed by the funding agencies or required by the regulators to ensure data archival and data review.

Resources to use to help build a DMP for an IMI project

1. FAIRsharing:

This is an Elixir UK resources acting as a one stop shop for finding out about Data Standards, Vocabularies, Ontologies and Data repositories implementing those standards. A highly curated resources, it provides powerful search capabilities and a powerful API which can be used to build DMP.

2. ELIXIR Deposition Databases for Biomolecular Data

3. Data Stewardship Wizard

This is an example of a tool produced by Elixir-CZ to help Scientists and Researchers create a Data Management Plan.

4. Existing Data Management Plans: the IMI Resolute example

Since DMP are now a default deliverable of IMI2 projects, Zenodo repository offers a good source of such documents. Among all the DMPs deposited to the repository, IMI RESOLUTE has produced a very robust document, of which 2 screenshots are provided below:

The following screenshot provides a good example of layout which could be exploited owing the structure is provides for including critical information describing a data type and data assets generated by an IMI project.


This piece aimed to provide some background to Data Management activities in the context of Innovative Medicine Initiative funded projects. Key resources have been highlighted as well as examples of Data Management Plans.

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Name Affiliation orcid CrediT role
Philippe Rocca-Serra University of Oxford, Data Readiness Group 0000-0001-9853-5668 Writing - Original Draft
Susanna Assunta Sansone University of Oxford, Data Readiness Group 0000-0001-5306-5690 Writing - Original Draft