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Research Data Management: Before Starting Research

Getting Started

Some research funders mandate that a Data Management Plan (DMP) be created and submitted with your application for research funding e.g (UKRI funded research, Horizon2020). However, for good research practice , it is recommended that all researchers at Aston produce a DMP prior to starting their research. To create a DMP using one of the templates on DMPonline, please click here where you can register and login. Some funders e.g BBSRC, recognise that data sharing has time and cost implications and thus allow requests for funding to cover the full economic cost of a research project (e.g staff, physical resources, storage).

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If your funder requires a DMP, contact prior to submitting your funding application for a review of your plan. If your funder does not require a plan, you can still produce a DMP using the DMPonline tool and send a copy to for reviewing. Aston University has developed our own templates using the DMP tool and has created example answers for many of the sections within the tool. These can be modified to suit your own particular research project

Data Management Plans

What is a Data Management Plan?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document used to help improve overall management practices and is conducted at the beginning of the research process. It is used for the management of  data throughout the duration of the project from start to finish. A DMP states the methodologies on how the data will be produced and the format it will be stored in, whether the data is subject to ethical, commercial or Intellectual Property Rights, how the data will be shared and the provisions for long term data preservation. In addition, the DMP should include what type of data and metadata will be produced, who will have access to the data, how data management practices will be enforced e.g. organising, storing, archiving, publishing etc. what hardware or software will be used together with who will be delegated to perform each task.

Does all research require a data management plan?

It is encouraged that grant holders should be required to develop and implement a DMP. For a comprehensive list on what individual funders require, please see Funders’ data plan requirements

For further information see DCC guidance on data management plans:
 DCC Data Management Plans   

How do I produce a Data Management Plan?

Click here to visit the DMPonline tool. Create a user account and login. Then follow the instructions to either produce a generic Data Management Plan or a plan which has been tailored to your funder.

When do I start writing my data management plan?

In most circumstances you would be expected to start preparing your DMP during the initial research proposal and development stages. The DMP would then be submitted along with your research proposal. It must be noted that the DMP is meant to be a guidleine on data management and must be constantly updated during the course of research in-line with any changes which occur. It however is only required to be submitted once during the initial stages of the project.