A data management plan describes how data will be managed during and after a research project. Data management plans typically include (but are not limited to):
A data management plan helps you to manage the data you produce for your own use, reuse and reporting to your funders, and clarifies individual and institutional roles, responsibilities and expectations. It helps to justify resources and funding required not just for the research process, but for maintaining, storing and preserving the data in line with funder and institutional policies.
The value of a data management plan comes from its usefulness; it should ideally serve as a living document, updated through the course of the project, rather than being an administrative ‘tick-box’ exercise. Consequently, data management planning should be embedded in the research workflow in a way that suits your individual practice.
Many major research funders require a data management plan, usually included as part of the funding application.
Even if it is not mandated, you are encouraged to write a data management plan to work through key considerations around documentation, security, storage, and publication.
Aston subscribes to DMPOnline, which allows you to create, review, and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. Sign up for an account using your institutional email and select 'Create plan' to follow a recommended template to ensure compliance.
Guidance on developing a useful and effective data management plan is available from the Digital Curation Centre.
Best practice examples are available from the Digital Curation Centre.
Research Data services can offer support related to data management or depositing data.
Research funding contacts can support you in developing a high quality bid.
Aston University Research Integrity Office can offer guidance on research ethics, governance, and integrity.
Adapted from guidance produced by the Digital Curation Centre.
Many funders mandate for data sharing where possible, while recognising that it is not always possible to publish data. You should consult consult the funder guidelines directly for authoritative information.
Publishers are increasingly requiring that the underlying data for a publication is shared or published. Policies can vary journal by journal. For further information, please see these example policies: