Research data management & sharing

Data Management Plan tips

These 10 tips can help researchers to avoid common mistakes, and create an effective, useful Data Management Plan.

Some research groups or departments have high-level group DMPs. These group DMPs should be consulted in the first instance, to ensure that your project DMP operates within the parameters defined by the group DMP. Please note that a group DMP is typically not detailed enough to substitute a project DMP; each project should have its own, tailored project DMP.
Try to tailor your DMP with details relevant to your particular project. Don't rely too heavily on sample statements from other DMPs.
DMPs for different projects vary in length. Try to include lots of detail about your intentions on how you will manage data, but don't feel the need to include lots of additional information about your research, unless it's useful to have in the DMP.
Remember to include all research data in your plan. In broad terms, research data can be anything that underpins research findings.
Be specific about which parts of your dataset you are referring to throughout your plan. Different types of data need to be managed in different ways.
Metadata and documentation should be sufficient to allow others to understand and reuse the data, without recourse to the creator. Think carefully about what metadata and documentation you can add to your data to make it more useful. Use community or disciplinary standards wherever possible. Sharing metadata standards helps to ensure a more systematic, consistent, and structured approach.
Open access to data should be discussed in the DMP. Open access to publications is generally not directly relevant to research data management, and shouldn't be discussed in the DMP.
Create your DMP as early as possible and develop it as the project progresses. Try to pre-empt problems by including practical consideration relating to your research process. This may include using the right file formats or storage methods to suit your hardware, security and access needs, or planning a timeline for depositing data in Pure, so that you are able to obtain a DOI [hyperlink] for your data before you submit a paper for publication.
Creating a DMP is not a box-ticking exercise. It is a document which, when created properly, will help to ensure research data is stored and used efficiently and effectively throughout the project. 
A DMP should help to ensure that after project completion, you can make data FAIR - Findable Accessible Interoperable, and Re-usable. These four elements can allow research results to be checked, and data to be reused.