Creating a Data Management Plan
Creating a Data Management Plan (DMP) can keep you and your research team organized.
The Digital Research Alliance of Canada created a bilingual tool called the DMP Assistant. It takes you step-by-step by asking questions about your research and providing guidance throughout the process.
To get started:
- Create an account: https://assistant.portagenetwork.ca/
- Choose a template. There are several from which to choose. The default template should fulfill your data management needs.
- Answer the questions as fully as possible for the best use of the Assistant.
- Share your plan with your research team to have others contribute.
- You can export or print your plan, and you can revise your plan throughout your research project.
General framework for an effective Data Management Plan
The Alliances has created a brief guide to help plan and organize your research. Contact us for assistance with writing a DMP. This guide contains, but is not limited to the following questions you may want to consider:
- Describe your project including its focus and purpose in terms that can be understood by anyone (try to avoid extensive use of jargon and explain acronyms)
- Try not to leave sections blank or questions unanswered
- Update as needed
- How will you collect your data, from where, and in what format
- What software will be used and how you will store and transfer data
- Include file naming and version structures
|Documentation and Metadata
- Describe how the data is documented and what is needed for others to understand it
- Choose a metadata schema (description of your data) used by your discipline
|Storage and Backup
- Estimate how much storage space is required
- Follow the 3-2-1 rule for backup: 3 copies of your data, on 2 different storage media, with 1 located offsite
- State how others on your team will work with your data (create, modify, etc.)
- Think about preservation-friendly, non-proprietary formats
- Where will you deposit your data for long-term preservation and access
|Sharing and Reuse
- Consider funding and/or ethical requirements when sharing data
- Choose an end user license outlining how your data can be used
|Responsibilities and Resources
- Determine who in your group will be responsible for data management and who controls the data
- What resources are required to store your data
|Ethics and Legal Compliance
- Consider how you will store and transfer sensitive data securely
- Consider how you will manage secondary use of sensitive data
- Can a 'public' (anonymized, de-identified) version of your data be created
- How will you manage legal, ethical, and intellectual property issues