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Data Management Plans (DMP)

“A data management plan or DMP is a formal document that outlines how data are to be handled both during a research project, and after the project is completed.[1] The goal of a data management plan is to consider the many aspects of data management, metadata generation, data preservation, and analysis before the project begins; this may lead to data being well-managed in the present, and prepared for preservation in the future.”


Example DMP

Why bother?

Stick: You have to make one

Reviewers definitely look at them, but they may not be enforced.

Carrot: Make your life easier
  • Planning for you project makes it run more smoothly
  • Avoid surprise costs

Elements of a good DMP

  • Information about data & data format(s)
    • data types
    • data sources
    • analysis methods
    • formats
    • QA/QC
    • version control
    • data life cycle
  • Metadata content and format(s)
    • format
    • standards
  • Policies for access, sharing, and re-use
    • funder obligations
    • ethical and privacy issues (data justice)
    • intellectual property, copyright, citation
    • timeline for releases
  • Long-term storage, data management, and preservation
    • which data to preserve
    • which archive/repository
  • Budget (PAPPG)
    • each of the above elements cost time/money
    • Personnel time for data preparation, management, documentation, and preservation (including time)
    • Hardware and/or software for data management, back up, security, documentation, and preservation (including time)
    • Publication/archiving costs (including time)

Not only what, but who (roles).

Extra challenges for collaborative projects.

Machine actionable DMPs

  • DMPs describe research methods that will evolve over the course of a project
  • to be a useful tool for researchers and others, the content must be updated to capture the methods that are employed and the data that are produced


Tools for DMPs

Exercise: Log in to DMP tools and create a mock DMP.

References and Resources

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