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Research Data Management Planning

Research Data Management planning involves making decisions at the beginning of your research to decide how you and those working on your project will organise, store and access, preserve and share your data. This will often mean creating a formal plan for managing your data known as a Data Management Plan (DMP). Other common names are Data Management and Sharing Plan, Access and Data Management Plan, Statement on Data Sharing, Data Access Plan or Technical Plan.

Many Funders' policies now require researchers to create a Data Management Plan as part of their grant application process and the University requires all its researchers to prepare a data management plan whether they are funded or not.

 


 

How do I create a data management plan?

The best way to get started writing a data management plan (DMP) is to begin with a suitable template. We recommend you use the DMPonline tool for this, as it incorporates templates for all UK research funders who require a plan and provides general guidance for each.

Not all plans require a great amount of detail, but you may wish to cover:

  • Data collection: what data you will collect and how
  • Documentation and metadata: what will you or other researchers need to know to interpret the data in the future
  • Ethics and legal compliance: what restrictions exist on the use and sharing of the data
  • Storage and backup: how will the data be kept safe and secure
  • Selection and preservation: how will you preserve the data for the long term and what criteria will you use to choose
  • Data sharing: which data will be suitable for sharing and how
  • Responsibilities and resources: who is responsible for implementing the plan and what resources and specialist expertise will be required

What is required by my Funder?

Funders are increasingly requiring evidence of data management and sharing practices on projects funded by them. Research Councils UK (RCUK) views making research data available via open access as a core part of its remit as stated in the RCUK common principles on research data policy.

Please ensure you are aware of your funders’ research data requirements before putting together a grant application.Our funders and policies (link) page provides you with information on individual Funder requirements.

Advice and additional guidance on writing data management plans

You can get advice on improving your data management plan from the Scholarly Communications and Rights team.  Please write a first-draft plan using the guidance given here and then contact us by email at researchdata@brunel.ac.uk

Sample Data Management Plans

The Research Support and Development Office (RSDO) provides examples of successful grant applications which contain data management plans. These are for illustrative purposes only and should not be shared outside of Brunel University London.