As life science projects are often data-intensive, scientists should construct a solid data management plan (DMP) before they start a research project. This plan should be updated regularly during the research project. At the end of the project, the final data management plan will be part of the documentation of the publishable data sets. This process is sometimes called ‘active data management planning’. One of DTL’s key ideas is that the planning process is more important than the actual plan, as a good planning tool can not only help describing the processes used in a project, but actually improving these.
Beside the inherent use of a DMP for the scientists themselves, funders often request DMP’s as part of a funding scheme. Good research data management requires professional treatment of data throughout all stages of a research project, from study design to long-term preservation and sharing of data. Data Stewards can help with that. Many (applied) universities, research institutes and companies employ Data Stewards. We suggest to address any data management questions to your local Data Steward.
To get started, you can find a selection of tools and resources here.
Data Stewardship Wizard
The Data Stewardship Wizard was created by DTL (Rob Hooft) in collaboration with colleagues from the Czech ELIXIR node. It converts a lengthy data management questionnaire into an effective flowchart, saving you research time and money, and enhancing the quality of your data management plan. Spend a little bit more time planning, and save a lot of time during the project.
Please contact Rob Hooft if you have a question about the Data Stewardship Wizard.
DMPonline helps you to create, review, and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. It is provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC).
Research data management- more info
- Nature publication: data management made simple (includes 12 tips for writing a DMP)
- Nature editorial: everyone needs a data management plan
- Visit GO FAIR’s RDM Starter Kit (listing resources designed to help researchers get started organizing data)
- Case studies of good and bad data stewardship (recording of Rob Hooft’s lecture, December 2017 at the Irish Health Research Board)
Examples of data management plans (DMP)
DTL is often asked for examples of good data management plans (DMPs) that can be reused for new projects. However, a DMP is tailored to a specific project and it is impossible to transfer this to another project. Creating a good DMP requires serious thought. Please contact your local Data Steward or data stewardship office for assistance with DMPs. These suggestions may be helpful otherwise:
- The FAIR data principles can provide targets for data stewardship.
- Many funders and other organisations provide questions that must be answered in the DMP; these can serve as a template for your DMP (e.g., DMP online).
- Some DMP sections (e.g., those describing the set-up of your organisation’s infrastructure), may be the same for all your projects, sometimes even for all projects at your institute. It is possible that for instance your ICT department can help you with a standardised description of their methods.
- A data management policy document (i.e., a page describing how the DMP wil be created) can sometimes be transferred from one project to another. A good example of such a policy document was written by Rob van Nieuwpoort of the Netherlands eScience Center; you can download it here.
Research data management – online trainings
Here you can find a list of useful links directing you to online trainings in research data management. DTL also organizes training courses on data management. Please have a look at this site for further information.
- Association for Clinical Data Management (ACDM) aims to be the leading independent provider of learning and development solutions for Clinical Data Management professionals worldwide
- CESSDA: training on research data management, data curation, etc. in the social sciences
- Coursera’s research data management and sharing course
- Essentials 4 Data Support introduction course
- EUDAT website: contains links to training in all areas of data management, including storage
- FOSTER portal: e-learning platform that brings together the training resources addressed to those who need to know more about Open Science, or need to develop strategies and skills for implementing Open Science practices in their daily workflows
- Mantra: free online course for those who manage digital data as part of their research project
- RDMRose: project to produce taught and continuing professional development (CPD) learning materials in Research Data Management tailored for information professionals
- Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM): full range of educational opportunities to complement your professional development as a clinical data manager
- UK Data Archive: largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the United Kingdom, also providing guidance and training on how to manage, store and share data
National and global initiatives that aim to promote adequate research data management:
- Health-RI: Building a National Health Research Infrastructure for optimal access to knowledge, tools, facilities, health data and samples. For sustainable and affordable personalized medicine and health.
- National Coordination Point Research Data Management (LCRDM), whose mission is to prepare, facilitate and monitor the development and implementation of Research Data Management Policy for scientific research in the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the professional field, and to ensure the exchange of knowledge and experience on a national level so that the Netherlands can achieve an efficient and effective development and implementation of research data management
- ELIXIR-Training activities in the field of data management planning
- Research Data Alliance (RDA), which was launched by the European Commission, the United States National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Government’s Department of Innovation with the goal of building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing of data.
- Research Data Netherlands
- Nationaal Programma Open Science