Data management plan

A data management plan is a document in which one describes what measures are taken with respect to research data throughout the entire "research lifecycle". An important goal of a data management plan is the advance planning of all possible data management aspects during the research project in order to carry out your research project as efficiently as possible.

Issues that should be addressed in a datamanagement plan are:

  • an estimate of the total size of data generated during the project
  • the organization of the data
  • what file formats are used
  • description of the data with appropriate metadata
  • ensuring data integrity through versioning and organizing access levels to data
  • secure storage and backup of data
  • long-term archiving of data after completion of a project
  • identify the cost of data management

A data management plan is not a static document; a datamanagement plan will typically be updated during the course of the research project. At the start of the project you may only be able to give a general outline of your data management measures. Moreover, new insights during the project can lead to new directions in your research project, resulting in new data management challenges that may require updating your datamanagement plan.

A number of research funders, including NWO, ZonMW and the EC under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme, have initiated data pilots, which involve that researchers write a data management section when submitting their research proposal and prepare a data management plan after funding has been provisionally granted. An overview of the data management policies of several major research funders can be found here.

Templates
Researchers at the TU/e can use a data management checklist and template created by the 4TU.Centre for Research Data for drafting a data management plan. Moreover, various research funders (including NWO) have prepared templates for including a data management plans as part of a research proposal.


How could RDM support help you?

For questions or advice on drafting a data management plan or a data management protocol, please contact Sjef Ă–llers or Leon Osinski through rdmsupport@tue.nl.