Completing your Data Management Plan
What is a Data Management Plan and how can it help you?
A Data Management Plan (DMP) typically states what data will be created as part of your project, how it will be created and will outline the plans for sharing and preservation of the data, noting what is appropriate given the nature of the data and any restrictions that may need to be applied.
Funders can ask for a DMP as part of research grant proposal and may require you to share your data. Planning for the effective creation, management and sharing of your data will also help you to get the most out of your research.
A DMP will help you:
- Find your data quickly and easily
- Avoid unnecessary re-collection or duplication of your data
- Check you have the necessary support, software and equipment in place
- Ensure continuity when researchers join or leave your project
- Maintain your data so it can be easily validated by others
- Allow other researchers to cite your data so you gain credit
Resources and guidance
Cardiff University has prepared its own Guidance for Managing Research Records and Data including:
- What records should be created and kept
- Data collection and record creation
- Data and records management during the research project
- Data and records management on completion of the project
Abstracts and a summary document of UK funders' requirements for DMPs are available from the DCC (Digital Curation Centre) to help you meet all their criteria.
An online data management planning tool to help you create your DMP called DMP Online is available from the DCC. DMP Online breaks your DMP down into five sections while taking into account the requirements of major UK funders.
If you would prefer to create your DMP offline, printed guides are available. A step-by-step guide to help you create a DMP is available from the UK Data Service. The DCC has produced a series of 'How-to' Guides including How to Develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan (2011).
Help and support
Hands on support and help with data management planning, and research bids generally, is available from University staff – please contact Chris Dickson or Sarah Phillips (PhillipsSJ7@cardiff.ac.uk). For queries regarding data protection, please contact Matthew Cooper (CooperM1@cardiff.ac.uk). Please see our contacts web page for further details.
The DCC has produced a glossary of digital curation terms to help researchers understand the meaning of any unfamiliar terms when preparing a DMP.
Once you have a draft DMP, you can use the Checklist for a Data Management Plan from the DCC to double-check that nothing is missing.