Costs of Research Data Management
An important part of the data management plan is to cost the resources needed to implement good research data management practices. Most DMPs include a paragraph on the resources that you plan to dedicate to RDM. These costs can be diverse and include things like people’s time, equipment, infrastructure and tools to manage, document, organise, store and provide access to data. You can find a helpful overview of possible RDM costs per research phase and research activity at the Utrecht University website. It is based on the data management costing tool developed by the UK Data Service costing tool and focuses on the social sciences.
The majority of funders view data management costs as eligible for funding. During the proposal phase, research funders often require applicants to explicitly consider the expenses associated with data management and data publication, both throughout and after the research project.
Steps for assessing RDM costs
Step 1: Check
Write down data management activities that may apply to your proposed research.
Step 2: Estimate
Please assess each activity and determine the required additional time and resources, including the costs associated, such as personnel hours or necessary hardware/software. Identify the resources that are already available to you from your institution. Also, take into account whether a dedicated data manager is necessary for the project.
Step 3: Implement
Include these data management costs in your research application. Coordinate resourcing and costing with financial support, RDM support, and IT services.
Step 4: Plan
Proactively plan data management activities ahead of time to prevent them from conflicting with the primary goal of achieving research excellence.