Data Management Plans
What is a data management plan?
Data management plans outline what a researcher is going to do with their data during their research and after the research is concluded. Data management plans should include:
- the types of data that will be collected or created
- where the data will be stored and the organization of the data
- the roles and responsibilities of research team members
- how the data will be accessed and shared
- policies for the reuse of the data
- plans for the long term storage and/or archiving of the data
Questions for your Data Management Plan
A data management plan should outline how you will store the data, organize it, and share the data after research is concluded. Some questions that should be addressed by a data management plan include:
- What research data will be created?
- What policies (funding, institutional, and legal) apply to the data?
- What data management practices (version control, storage, backup, archiving) will be used?
- What equipment or services (hard drive, data repository) will be required for data management?
- Who will be responsible for managing the data?
Why should I have a data management plan?
There are a few great reasons to create a data management plan.
- Data management plans are now required by some funders, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Some funders may require you archive your research in a repository.
- Your grant proposal may be more competitive if you can demonstrate that you will manage, preserve, and share your data.
- You will be prepared for possible data loss ahead of time, because you crafted a data management plan with backups.
A stronger data management plan will create a stronger research project.
Consult other data management guides for additional resources for your data management plan:
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