"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first hour sharpening the axe."
- Abraham Lincoln
Data management planning is the structured way of thinking about the research data you are going to collect. What type of research data will the research project produce? What format will you use? How will you store them and how can they be accessed? By thinking about these questions(1) at an early stage and documenting your answers you will avert future problems as a researcher.
One of the ways to think about the data collecting process is by using a format: a data management plan (DMP). These formats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the research discipline, requirements from the research funder and local initiatives.
A data management plan can be a separate document. It helps the researcher identify and list the risks with regard to management of research data during the entire research process. Because not everything is known from the outset it is recommended to treat the DMP as a "living document", which can be revised and detailed periodically.
Nowadays, research funders often require that a data management plan is included in the project proposal. In that case the research proposal contains a data section or a DMP is included as an annex. For research funders the reason behind it is to promote open access to research data. In their opinion research data, produced in the context of a publicly funded research project, should be freely made available for reuse and verification. Recent cases of data manipulation and fraud emphasize the importance of access to the original data.
In the video below, we have listed what a data management plan is, what its advantages are and an example will be given of a format and a completed DMP.
RDNL-Video about the what, why and how of data management planning;
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Cases involving requirements from research funders
Below you will find some examples of research funders and their requirements with regard to a data management plan or a data section. The institutes usually supplies this information directly to the researchers, but data suporters can expect to be asked questions about it by researchers.
- KNAW - Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) states that(2) a data section has to be included in the research plan for each new research project started.
The KNAW data section guide (Dutch)(3) specifies what a data section has to include.
In addition, the KNAW produced a point of reference for a data notation (Dutch).(4) The document describes the institute-specific implementation of the KNAW open access policy and digital sustainability of research data.
- NWO - Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
NWO, the largest research funding organization in the Netherlands, has tightened its policy regarding research data in 2011. Data deriving from research funded by NWO is co-owned(5) by it. For data files, both NWO and the knowledge institute that carried out the research are considered to be “producer of the database” as referred to in the Databases Act. This way the funder wants to encourage reuse of the research data.
One of the preconditions(6) for obtaining both a NWO Large or Medium subsidy within e.g. the Social and Behavioural Sciences programme is that a data contract(7) is closed when the research starts. In this contract agreements are made about the way the research data is to be archived and made available when the project has ended.
- Wageningen University
From 1 April 2014, Wageningen University requires Chair groups and PhDs to have a data management plan available.(8)
- Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020(9) the new European funding programme for research and innovation. With a proposed budget of 80 billion euros, Horizon 2020 should make it easier for researchers and institutes to get funding and to introduce new ideas to the market.
Horizon 2020 has a pilot for open access to research data. Participating projects are required to provide a data management plan that indicates what data will be open.
Also see 'Guidelines on data management in Horizon 2020'.(10)
- National Science Foundation
Since 18 January 2011, The National Science Foundation (USA) requires(11) all research proposals to have an annex of no more than two pages titled 'Data Management Plan'.
Cases with completed DMPs
- Gesis. Research data management questions. Retrieved from www.gesis.org/fileadmin/upload/trainingcenter/images__documents/Research_data_management_questions.pdf
- KNAW. KNAW policy on open access and digital preservation. Retrieved from https://www.knaw.nl/en/topics/open-access-and-digital-preservation/open-access/policy?set_language=en
- KNAW. (2011). Handvat voor het opstellen van een data paragraaf. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Ccd1URnalvNjJmNDgzNTQtYzZhNS00YTliLTk3ZjMtZDI5NGZmNjA2NWFl/edit?pli=1
- KNAW. (2011). Handvat voor het opstellen van een data notitie. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Ccd1URnalvMjhjOGMzMjQtNjEyOC00NDI0LTgzYWYtNGY5Zjc3YTdiNTA0/edit?pli=1
- NWO. Regulation on granting. Retrieved from http://www.nwo.nl/en/documents/nwo/legal/nwo-regulation-on-granting-may-2011
- NWO. Investment grant NWO medium (Social sciences). Retrieved from http://www.nwo.nl/en/funding/our-funding-instruments/nwo/investment-grant-nwo-medium/magw/investment-grant-nwo-medium.html
- KNAW. Data contract for archiving and providing access 2011 - explanatory notes. Retrieved from www.nwo.nl/en/documents/magw/data-contract-for-archiving-and-providing-access-2011---explanatory-notes
- Wageningen Universiteit. Data Management Plans. Retrieved from http://www.wageningenur.nl/web/file?uuid=3f974938-79a0-421f-b1ad-95eef49d777c&owner=c057b578-4a6a-4449-881b-17fff17e2f1a
- European Commission. Horizon 2020. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/
- European Commission. (2013). The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Horizon 2020. Guidelines on Data Management in Horizon 2020. Retrieved from ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/oa_pilot/h2020-hi-oa-data-mgt_en.pdf
- National Science Foundation. Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results. NSF Data Sharing Policy. Retrieved from http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp
- Schoots, F.; Verhaar, P. (2011). Splitting and Clustering Grammatical Information (SPLITS). Data Management Plan. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9Ccd1URnalvYmEyNGU4MDQtZDk4MS00MDYyLWFlMDEtYWYwMTM2NzU2MzUx/edit?pli=1
- Vermeulen, L., (2013). Data management plan. Retrieved from http://www.wageningenur.nl/web/file?uuid=4c3b23ee-02ee-4819-b555-988c23deca44&owner=7e5add26-d3a7-4118-aed0-a55dbb7d892e
- Social and Organizational Psychology (SOP) department, Utrecht University. (2013, June). Data management plan of the Social and Organizational Psychology (SOP) department, Utrecht University. [draft version]. Retrieved from www.surf.nl/binaries/content/assets/surf/nl/kennisbank/2013/UU_Data+Management+Plan+SOP_DRAFT+June+2013_publ_def.pdf
- DCC. Data plan guidance and examples. Retrieved from www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/data-management-plans/guidance-examples
- Purdue University. Data Management Plan Examples. Retrieved from https://purr.purdue.edu/dmp/dmpexamples
- ICPSR. (2012). Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving. Retrieved from http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/files/ICPSR/access/dataprep.pdf
- DANS Data Guide 8. (2010). Preparing data for sharing. Guide for social science data archiving. Retrieved from http://dans.knaw.nl/nl/over/organisatie-beleid/publicaties/DANSpreparingdataforsharing.pdf
- DCC, DMP Online. Retrieved from https://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/
- California Digital Library, DMP Tool. Retrieved from https://dmp.cdlib.org/
- SURF, (2013), Rapport Ervaringen en aanbevelingen datamanagement (Regie in de cloud). Retrieved from http://www.surf.nl/kennis-en-innovatie/kennisbank/2013/rapport-ervaringen-en-aanbevelingen-datamanagement-regie-in-de-cloud.html
- Purdue University, Institute of Museum and Library Services, D2Cs, Data curation profiles toolkit. Retrieved from datacurationprofiles.org
- Witt, M.; Carlson, R. (2007). Conducting a data interview. [epub]. Retrieved from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1092&context=lib_research
- Data Curation Profiles Directory. Retrieved from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/dcp/about.html