"Datamanagement" - a recent requirement in university administration, transnational project funding, and publications - often disregards how research materials are co-produced and kept in ethnography. This Roundtable discusses whether and how to resist potential negative effects on anthropology.
"Datamanagement plans" have become a requirement in university administration, transnational project funding, and submitting papers to a journal. The commodification and sharing of "data", however, is mostly modeled on experimental and clinical research, and implies a covert ethical intervention on a medical and psychological model in overall scientific conduct. It therefore often ignores the ways in which ethnographic research materials are co-produced in personal relations of trust, and raises serious questions about the limits of ownership, access and use to research materials, and the resulting responsibilities of ethnographers to monitor these limits. This Roundtable uses a statement on datamanagement for anthropologists and ethnographers drawn up by a committee of anthropologists at Leiden University, and its prior discussion and endorsement by colleagues in the Netherlands, UK and Germany, to ask whether it is necessary for anthropologists to take up a joint position in defending the variety of scientific approaches in general, and the characteristic epistemology and ethics of ethnography in particular, and whether a joint statement on the management of research materials may help to do so.