About Fordatis


General information

Fordatis is the institutional research data repository of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. It is operated and provided by the Competence Center Research Services & Open Science (Operator) at the Fraunhofer Information Center for Planning and Building IRB on behalf of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

The aim of Fordatis is to provide a platform to grant access to valuable research data and to facilitate the availability of this data. It can be used by Fraunhofer scientists uploading content to the Fordatis repository and by third parties downloading and subsequently using data.


Fordatis is a repository for research data created at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft- that has been or is yet to be published. This is understood to mean data that has been compiled in connection with scientific research at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Negative results and data that do not result in a publication can also be published. For data to be published, all authors of the data must consent and have the rights to publish it. Personal data may be submitted to Fordatis only after it has been thoroughly anonymized or with the consent of the individuals affected. Research records are stored in the system as items. Each item is composed of a descriptive metadata record and the uploaded files.


Fordatis is free of charge for all Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft employees and their project partners. A Shibboleth connection automatically gives all Fraunhofer employees a user account with the right to submit data. Users log in with a PKI card by clicking on the submissions function. Files larger than 5 GB may not be uploaded via the web interface. If your file exceeds this limit, please contact Support at fordatis@fraunhofer.de.

Quality control

The Competence Center Research Services & Open Science provides Fordatis as a system for publishing research data. This data is submitted by researchers, together with descriptive metadata.  The quality of the metadata is reviewed first by the institutes themselves (scientific information manager/libraries), then by the Competence Center Research Services & Open Science. The Competence Center Research Services & Open Science reserves the right to refuse to accept data if it does not conform to the purpose of the Fordatis collection or if the metadata is inaccurate. In such a case, items may be returned to the data producers for revision. The Competence Center Research Services & Open Science does not and is not obligated to undertake any scientific review of the research data content. The respective data producers themselves are responsible for this. However, the Competence Center Research Services & Open Science reserves the right to review content and to delete or remove content from the platform without prior notice if, in the Competence Center’s own judgment, it is deemed to be inappropriate content that is not related to scientific research or violates the rules of good scientific practice.

Publication of research data

The aim of Fordatis is to publish research data to make it freely and openly available over the Internet for subsequent use. After publication, submitters can no longer delete the content, but they can have it withdrawn, which means that the content is no longer visible on the Fordatis interface but is still accessible via the original link and/or DOI (together with a note from the transmitter: “This content was withdrawn”).

Authors are obligated to clarify any potential third-party rights prior to publication. If authors become aware of the existence or the emergence of legal obstacles, they must notify the Operator immediately. The Operator reserves the right to block access to a digital object if there is concrete evidence of a violation of third-party rights. The Operator is not liable for damages resulting from the infringement of copyrights and exploitation rights except in cases of proven willful misconduct or gross negligence.

The uploaded research data must generally be free from technical safeguards and digital rights management (DRM) methods.

Publication on Fordatis requires that authors permanently transfer the non-exclusive right of reproduction and provision of public access to the Operator Competence Center Research Services & Open Science. Without limitation, before or after the publication, authors are free to publish the research results elsewhere in print or electronically, optionally modified or in extracts.

The transfer of the non-exclusive right of use permanently entitles the Operator of Fordatis to:

  • • make electronic copies of the digital object publicly available (where applicable upon expiration of any embargo period) and, if necessary, modify it (in terms of form) so that it can be reproduced on future computer systems. This authorization excludes any modification of the content of the digital object This right applies to all known and as yet unknown types of use.  

  • • to report and transfer the digital objects to third parties, for instance in connection with national collection mandates, especially for the purpose of long-term archival or for reporting to OpenAIRE. 

  • • transfer the agreed rights and obligations to another repository (e.g., a potential successor repository of Fordatis). It also entitles the Operator to charge a third party with the public provision of the digital object (e.g., to provide it at a facility specializing in long-term availability). 

To settle the transfer of the requisite rights of use from authors to the Operator, prior to publication, any document provided must be submitted to the Competence Center Research Services & Open Science (fordatis@fraunhofer.de) together with the transfer of the non-exclusive rights of use.

Without limitation, authors are free to establish an embargo period for research data. During the embargo, only the metadata will be publicly available, not the research data itself. Upon expiration of the embargo, the data is automatically released and will then be freely available on the Internet.

Licensing of research data

During the Fordatis publishing process, data must be covered by a license. To this end, various preselected licenses are made available in the publishing process. By uploading content to the Fordatis repository, the transmitter agrees that the research data may be used by third parties in accordance with the license issued.

Long-term preservation of research data

Content that has been published will be stored and made available for a period of at least ten years. The Operator will make every reasonable effort to ensure the long-term storage or archival of the digital object. The Operator cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of the digital object or other associated data.

Subsequent use of research data

All data that is uploaded to Fordatis without an embargo date is available for subsequent use by third parties. The type of subsequent use permitted is governed by the issuance of a license.  By downloading the data, users assume full responsibility for the use of the data. They are obligated to comply with the license terms of the corresponding record.


Fordatis is provided “as is” and “as available.” Its Operator Competence Center Research Services & Open Science agrees to:

  • • store the data on Fraunhofer-owned servers in Germany  

  • • ensure that the data is backed up regularly 

  • • archive the data for at least ten years