Research data management (RDM) concerns the organisation of data, from its entry to the research cycle through to the dissemination and archiving of valuable results (for a more comprehensive overview, see this Guide to Research Data Management). It is part of the research process, and aims to make the research process as efficient as possible, and meet expectations and requirements of the university, research funders, and legislation.
RDM concerns how you:
- Create data and plan for its use,
- Organise, structure, and name data,
- Keep it – make it secure, provide access, store and back it up,
- Find information resources, and share with collaborators and more broadly, publish and get cited.
Writing a data management plan (DMP) enables the researcher to think about data from a holistic perspective, by thinking about questions and scenarios before they arise. Writing a DMP will enable you to: make decisions on how you will 1. create, organize, document, store and backup your data; 2. document your ethical and legal obligations; 3. decide how you will share, archive and preserve your data over the longterm; and 4. meet grant requirements and/or produce a more competitive grant application. Careful planning will reduce the risk of data loss and improve the overall efficiency of a project.
Video: The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) give an insight into the importance of providing access to research data and the risks of not managing data effectively. (video)
Contact us if you want to have an informal, one-to-one chat about the data you’re working with, what you’d like to be able to do with it, and your longer term plans. You might learn how to do more with your data, find out about new tools and services, or discuss ways of meeting funding body requirements – whatever’s most useful and most relevant. We provide RDM support, including support in writing DMPs for grant applications, intellectual property rights advice and information materials.
If you’d like to find out more about the support that’s available for managing your research data, why not rdm.library [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Data%20Management%20Support) (make an appointment with us)?
DMP Template Tools
Several tools have been developed that include templates that reflect criteria to meet funding requirements, and can help design a plan that is relevant to data in your research domain. These include:
- Portage DMP Assistant - an online tool designed to help Canadian academic researchers develop and implement research DMPs. The tool is bilingual and includes a customized version for McGill researchers.
- DMP Online - produced by the UK's Digital Curation Centre to help research teams write DMP.
- DMP Tool - provides detailed guidance and links to general and institutional resources and walks a US based researcher through the process of generating a DMP.
You don't have to rely on a template tool. Learn more about writing a DMP by reviewing these sites:
- DataOne - Primer on Data Management: What you always wanted to know
- DataOne - Data Management Guide for Public Participation in Scientific Research
- Digital Curation Centre (UK) - DMP Checklist
- Digital Curation Centre (UK) - DMP guidance and examples
- DMPTool (US) - Public DMPs
- Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) - Framework for creating a DMP
- Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) - DMP Examples
- MANTRA - a free online course for post-graduate students, early career researchers, and those who manage digital data as part of their research project
- National Endownment for the Humanities (NEH) - Data Management Plans from Successful Grant Applications
Government of Canada (2016) Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management.
OECD (2007), OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding, OECD Publishing, Paris.
McGill University (2011) Regulation on the conduct of Research. Section 4. Research Data.