Planning your data management

image: research data management
DMP review service

The Library’s Research Support Team offer a DMP review service, where we will review your plan for you before you submit it. To use the service, simple email your plan to: Please allow at least two weeks before you submission deadline.

The key to successfully managing data is to plan ahead. At the start, or even better before the project begins, it is wise to fully consider all the issues that may arise in managing and sharing your research data. Using a checklist and/or writing a Data Management Plan (DMP) will help you do this.

What is a DMP?

A Data Management Plan is a document describing how you intend to create, organise, document, store, and share the data used or generated throughout the project lifecycle. Importantly it addresses data protection and confidentiality issues, asking you to consider what is appropriate given the nature of your data and any restrictions you may need to impose.

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) guide How to develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlines the process of developing a Data Management Plan, including UK funder expectations and practical guidance on how to meet these.

What to include in your DMP

The DCC provides a useful Checklist for a Data Management Plan, bringing together information about funder requirements and best practice in the planning of data management. The checklist presents the main themes and questions that you may want to cover in your Data Management Plan.

Costing RDM

If you need extra resources to support the management and sharing of research data (eg staff to prepare data/metadata for ingest into a data repository) these should be included and justified in your data management plan/proposal. The University of St Andrews' guide Costing research data management illustrates what you need to consider when costing for RDM. A summary of individual funders' views on meeting associated costs is outlined in the DCC Overview of funders’ data policies. The UK Data Archive offers a useful Costing research data management tool to help researchers cost activities related to managing and sharing data.

The RCUK state that "It is appropriate to use public funds to support the management and sharing of publicly-funded research data." The RCUK's Guidance on best practice in the management of research data [PDF] provides guidance on where these costs can be sought.

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Funder requirements

Many research funders now require a Data Management (and Sharing) Plan for the research they fund. This requirement may also form part of the funding application.

Your plan should show your awareness of good practice and, where appropriate, reassure the funder that your proposal is in line with their data policy.

See our Funder data policies pages, which summarise the main requirements including information on Data Management Plans.

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Creating a DMP


DMPonline, a web-based tool provided by the DCC, can help you create an effective Data Management Plan that meets the requirements set by major UK funders.

You are asked three questions at the start to determine the appropriate funder template to display, thereafter guidance is provided to help you interpret and answer funder questions.

Note: DMPonline includes a template from the Software Sustainability Institute for a software management plan.

DMP template for postgraduate research projects

York has developed a simplified DMP template, designed for use by postgraduate research students.

  • Prompt sheet [Google Doc] to be used in conjunction with the DMP template. It offers guidance and examples to help you complete your own DMP.

Instructions for use: Open the Google document and sign in to Google Apps using your University username and password. Then copy the document (click on File then Make a copy...). Your copy of the template will open and you can start to write your own DMP.

Example DMPs

The DCC's Data plan guidance and examples page includes example DMPs for many funders. Take a look so that you can get a feel for the detail and language that is expected.

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Recommended DMP guidance from other organisations

  • University of Edinburgh, Research Data MANTRA Data management plans
    A training module from the MANTRA research data management online course.