Data management of each research project should be planned and data management plan (DMP) created before research starts. With the help of a data management plan, 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.
DMP can be updated during the research project, but the most important guidelines and principles should be contemplated on before the project starts.
Research funders and institutions may have particular requirements for the content of the plan, but generally the following are considered in the DMP:
- which data will be generated or reused during research
- documentation, quality assurance and metadata
- privacy protection and information security
- data storage and back-up measures
- data management roles and responsibilities
- plans for sharing data
- ethical and legal issues or restrictions on data sharing
- data destruction if needed
- resources needed
A data management plan should not be thought as a simple administrative task for which standardised text can be pasted in from model templates, with little intention to implement the planned data management measures early on, or without considering what is really needed to enable data sharing. Implementing data management measures during the planning and development stages of research project will avoid later panic and frustration.
Watch the video (7:06): Data management plan (DMP).
Familiarise yourself with UEF guidelines and your funder’s guidelines for research planning. If your funder doesn’t have specific guidelines, see the guidelines of Academy of Finland or EU: Horizon 2020. When writing your DMP try to give comprehensive description about how you will manage your research data and answer all questions that are relevant particularly for your research data.