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Data Management Plans: Data Management Overview

Guidance on writing Data Management Plans

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On this page you can find information on what information is included in Data Management Plans, the requirements for writing Data Management Plans and find out about the benefits of having a Data Management Plan

Data Management Plan overview

Data Management Plans (DMPs) are living documents that explain:

  • the legislative, contractual, ethical and University policy requirements that you must adhere to in the management of your research data
  • methods for data collection and quality assurance processes
  • the format and volume of data that you will use or generate
  • plans for where you will store your data during the project to keep it safe and secure
  • processes for documenting your data during the project to ensure that your data can be understood by yourself and others
  • plans for sharing your data at the end of your project
  • where you will preserve your data after the end of your project, and the length of time that the data must be preserved.

 

The Digital Curation centre holds a range of example Data Management Plans for different funders, and some researchers have made their Data Management Plans publicly available through DMPOnline. 

Requirements and support for writing Data Management Plans

The University of Bath Research Data Policy requires all new projects to have a Data Management Plan. Additionally, many funders require a Data Management Plan to be submitted at the time of grant application. We provide extensive guidance writing Data Management Plans for grant applications, and provide a Data Management Plan review service. If your funder does not provide a Data Management Plan template you can use the University of Bath Data Management Plan Template

 

If you are a Doctoral Student you are required to submit a Data Management Plan at the time of confirmation. We run regular training courses for Doctoral students on writing Data Management Plans, and provide a Doctoral Data Management Plan Template. We also provide guidance on reviewing Doctoral Data Management Plans for supervisors.

Benefits of writing a Data Management Plan

Writing a Data Management Plan at the start of your project can identify potential issues you may encounter during your project and ensure that you have a plan to address these before they result in delays during your project or at the point of publication. Data Management Plans are particularly useful if you are conducting collaborative research. 

  • Making sure that you are complying with funder, legislative or contractual obligations;

  • Ensuring that you have sufficient active data storage space or funding for additional storage space;

  • Having a system for documenting your data so that you, your collaborators and other researchers can understand your data in the future;

  • Establishing mechanisms for the secure transfer of data to collaborators;

  • Making sure that your data are saved in formats that are suitable for preservation and sharing with other researchers;

  • Ensuring that the process of depositing your data in a data archive is efficient and not unnecessarily time-consuming;;

  • Enabling your data to be discovered and used by others, for you to be credited for it's generation, and therefore increase the impact of your research.