RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT

What is a Data Management Plan?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data management life cycle for all datasets that will be collected, processed or generated by the research project.

A data management plan is a formal document you develop at the start of your research project which outlines all aspects of your data (i.e., what you will do with your data during and after your research project).

It is a document outlining how research data will be handled during and after the project is completed, describing what data will be shared and/or made open, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Developing a data management plan may seem daunting. However, it is a vital step in your research process that you cannot afford to skip. It helps you ensure that your research data are accurate, complete, reliable, and secure both during and after you complete your research.

The DMP is to be revised (with version recorded) during the lifespan of the project whenever there is substantial change. The DMP is also meant to serve as a reference document which gives an overall view of your project for people who are interested in your project.

Many funding agencies in the US and UK are requiring researchers to submit a data management plan or data sharing plan upon grant application. In Singapore, the National Medical Research Council has indicated a similar requirement for new grant applications very soon.

What are the benefits of a DMP?

  • You can find and understand your data when you need to use it.
  • There is continuity if project staff leave or new researchers join.
  • You can avoid unnecessary duplication e.g. re-collecting or re-working data.
  • The data underlying publications are maintained, allowing for validation of results.
  • Data sharing leads to more collaboration and advances research.
  • Your research is more visible and has greater impact.
  • Other researchers can cite your data so you gain credit.

(Source: Digital Curation Centre)

Does NTU have a DMP template?

Yes, NTU has a DMP template that comprises 10 questions. From 14 Apr 2016 onwards, newly awarded external grant awardees would be required to submit a DMP via the DMP Tool in RIMS (the NTU Research Information Management System).

What if I need help in writing a DMP?

We welcome you to attend a NTU DMP Writing Workshop. Click here to register. If you need further help, you can send a draft of your data management plan to library@ntu.edu.sg for our librarians to advise.

Video: Data management plans

This video reviews how to write a data management plan for a grant application.

(Source: University of Wisconsin Data Services)

Further readings:

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