Your data management plan
Planning for your data management needs ahead of time will save you time and resources in the long run and ensure that your data will be usable in the future. A formal plan can be valuable to you and may be required by your funding agency. Topics to cover in a written plan include:
- name of the person responsible for data management within your research project
- description of the data and the methods used to collect or create the data
- how data will be documented throughout the research project
- how data quality will be assured
- backup procedures
- how data will be made available for public use and potential secondary uses
- preservation plans
- any exceptional arrangements that might be needed to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property
For tips on creating a data sharing or management plan:
- NSF Data Management Plans
- UC Berkeley Science Libraries. Preparing data management plans for NSF grant applications.
- UC San Diego Research Cyberinfrastructure. Data Management Plans.
- Association for Research Libraries. Guide for Research Libraries: the NSF Data Sharing Policy.
- Data Conservancy. NSF Data Management Plan Template.
- Data Curation Centre (UK). DMP Online.
- Long Term Ecological Research Network. How to Write a data management plan for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal.
- Other funding agencies
- NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance
- MIT Data Management and Publishing
- University of Minnesota Funding Agencies and Data Management Guidelines.
- Australian National University Data Management Manual
- RELU-DSS Data Management Plan
The following guides cover general principles for managing your data, plus selected information related to particular formats or disciplines.
- Australian National University: Data
Information from courses and a manual on data management.
- CIESIN: Geospatial Electronic Records: Resources on managing and preserving geospatial data and related electronic records.
- ICPSR Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving (pdf): Outlines best practices throughout the research process, including applying for a research grant, collecting data, and preparing data for deposit in a public archive.
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Best Practices for Preparing Environmental Data Sets to Share and Archive: Describes the practices to make data sets ready to share with others.
- UK Data Archive: Create and Manage Data: Provides best practice strategies and methods for creating, preparing and storing shareable datasets. See also Managing and Sharing Data: a Best Practice Guide for Researchers (pdf).