Data management plans

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP) is a document that outlines what researchers care for their data, both during and after the life of the project. DMPs are written in order to help all stakeholders - researchers, funding agencies, archive and repository specialists, etc., understand:

  • what data will be created or used
  • how the data will be described (i.e., which metadata standards are used)
  • who owns and who can access the data
  • who is responsible for data management and integrity
  • how long the data will be preserved
  • what resources are required to maintain, access and preserve the data

Many funding agencies now require data management planning as an integral component research projects and their applications.

How do I develop a Data Management Plan?

To write a data management plan, researchers should:

  1. conduct a data management needs assessment.  This will help you understand what resources, people, and technology is required to create, use, preserve, and share data  The Laurier Library will help you conduct this by undergoing a data management checklist
  2. familiarize themselves with the data management expectations of their campus and funding agency stakeholders. The Laurier Library maintains a list of funding agency data management obligations here.

Data Management Needs Assessment

The Laurier Library consults on data management needs assessments.  This process will help you consider how all the facets of data management, including access, metadata and documentation, storage requirements, preservation policies.  The Library uses a checklist adapted from the Digital Curation Centre’s DMP Checklist Version 4.0.

Funding Agency Obligations

SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR each have different data management obligations. While these Canadian research agency obligations are weaker than the obligations found in other countries, it is expected that our national funding agencies will align themselves with the more stringent data management demands of other countries in the future.

Who do I contact to develop a data management plan (DMP)?

For more information on conducting data management needs assessments and developing data management plans, contact Michael Steeleworthy, the Laurier Data Librarian.