Data management and the sharing of research data must be planned before starting the research project
A data management plan, DMP, is an important document to create at the beginning of your research project. DMP describes and documents the collection, processing, storage, archiving and possible sharing of research data. DMP outlines all aspects of managing your research data, both during and after your project.
Data management is all about making your work efficient. With appropriate data management planning even sensitive and proprietary data may be shared, reused and FAIR, at least to some extent. All researchers should be familiar with the basics of research data management, regardless of whether they are planning to data share or not.
Watch the video about what data management planning is, how you do it and why it is important (5:30).
If you haven’t yet participated in any research data management training, find out what kind of trainings your organisation provides. The University of Eastern Finland Library offers research data management training for UEF graduate students in the Basics of Research Data Management course (8022050, 1 cp). The study material is openly available for everyone.
Tools for creating DMPs
A data management plan is a document which describes the actions needed to manage the data. With the help of a data management plan, a researcher can perceive the entire life cycle of the research data, diminish the risks related to it, as well as ensure its ethical, secure and efficient use during and after the research.
There are many useful online tools that can help you create a DMP. Most tools provide guidance to meet the institutional and funder requirements. Find out if your organisation or country recommends a certain service. Here are some examples about free tools:
- DMPTuuli (DMP tool for reseachers of Finnish research organisations and collaborators)
- DMPOnline (Digital Curation Center, DCC, UK)
- DMPTool (University of California Curation Center)
If you are able to share your data, you should consider where to deposit and publish your data already in your research data management plan.
Questions to consider:
- Which data and associated metadata, documentation or code will be deposited openly available?
- How long does the data need to be preserved? For how long should the data remain reusable?
- How will the data be made available, will you deposit it in a repository or use some other way for sharing it?
- Do you need to restrict access to the data?
- Does the chosen repository/service meet the requirements of your research and of your funder?
- DMP outlines all aspects of managing research data, both during and after the project.
- You can use online tools for creating DMPs. Most tools provide guidance to meet the organisational and funder requirements.
- In Finland, the use of DMPTuuli is recommended.
- Notice the costs and other resources needed for managing and sharing data in your DMP.
- Plan the possible data sharing in your DMP.