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Research Data Management

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

What is Research Data Managment (RDM)?

Research data management is a general term covering how you organize, structure, store, and care for the information used or generated during a research project.  It includes:

  • Planning how your data will be looked after – many funders now require data plans as part of applications
  • How you deal with information on a day-to-day basis over the lifetime of a project
  • What happens to data in the longer term – what you do with it after the project concludes

Source: "What is RDM?" by the University of Oxford.

A strong Data Management Plan (DMP) will address all sections of the research data lifecycle:

Research data lifecycle diagram demonstrating the research life cycle as plan and design, collect and capture, collaborate and analyse, manage, store, and preserve, share and publish, discover, reuse, and cite.

Source: Jisc. (n.d.). Research Data Lifecycle. Research Data Management Toolkit. Retrieved January 29, 2021, from
CC BY-ND licence


Tri-Agency's Research Data Management Policy

In 2016, the Tri-Agencies (CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC) announced that all institutions receiving funding would be required to have an institutional strategy and each funded project would need to have a data management plan.

After a consultation with stakeholders and research institutions, in March 2021 they released their policy.  There are 3 key parts to the policy:

  1. Institutional strategy - all institutions eligible for Tri-Agencies funding must provide the Tri-Agencies with and have a published institutional strategy by March 1, 2023.
  2. Data management plans - by Spring 2022 selected calls for proposals will have a data management plan requirement and DMPs will be considered in the adjudication process.
  3. Data deposit - grant recipients will be required to deposit into a digital repository all digital research data, metadata and code that directly support the research conclusions that arise from agency-supported research.

At its core, RDM is viewed by funding agencies as a mechanism to enhance research excellence. It is important to note the data deposit requirement does not mean the data needs to be open access.

Tri-Agency Policies and Guidelines
Journal and Other Funders Data Management Policies

Many academic journals and publishers are now asking for data to be shared as part of the peer-review and publication process - an example of such policies can be found here: Data Sharing Policy for Wiley.

What can go wrong?

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