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Research Data Management

A guide to finding, planning, and sharing research data.

What is a Data Management Plan? Why should I have one?

A data management plan (DMP) is a document that describes the data that will be collected throughout a project, and how the data will be organized, stored, and shared. A DMP is a living document that will require regular review and revision throughout your research project.

There are 5 components of any data management plan:

  • Types of data that will be produced or collected
  • Data and metadata standards
  • Policies for access and sharing
  • Policies for re-use and distribution
  • Plans for archiving and preservation

Planning saves time in the long run by integrating processes within and after the life of a project. It minimizes the need to reorganize, reformat, or attempt to remember details about data when disseminating and sharing with others. Many funding agencies and journals have data management policies and guidelines. Data management plans are considered a foundation of good RDM practice and are increasingly required by public-sector funders and journal publishers.

Adapted from: Digital Research Alliance of Canada. (n.d.). How to manage your data: Frequently asked questions under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

DMP Assistant

The DMP Assistant is a national, online, bilingual data management planning tool developed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada in collaboration with host institution University of Alberta to assist researchers in preparing data management plans (DMPs). It is freely accessible to all researchers.

When you sign up for an account, select Ontario Tech University as your institution. This web-based tool will guide you step by step through creating a data management plan following current best practices. The platform also allows you to share your plan with your collaborators, and export finished plans for inclusion in grant applications.

Here are some resources to help you get started:

DMP Tool

DMP Tool is a tool for creating data management plans that are compliant with the requirements of funding agencies such as the NIH and the NSF. The tool also includes many public DMPs, in a variety of languages, that researchers can review.

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