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Data Management Plans for Research

Information and resources about creating and executing a Data Management Plan for your research, as required by many funding agencies.

About this LibGuide

The contents of this LibGuide are largely adapted from the documentation provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and AUS's Office of Research.

Be sure to confirm that our recommendations meet or conform to the requirements of the specific funding agency you're applying to.

Your Librarian

Librarians serve as a point of contact for faculty and will be glad to answer questions about library collections, student instruction sessions, reserves, etc.

Please contact the librarians assigned to your department for assistance.

What is a Data Management Plan?

A Data Management Plan (DMP; you may also see the acronym RDM or Research Data Management) is a short written document that outlines how data will be collected, documented, organized, shared and preserved during a research project and after it is completed.

It answers the following questions:

  1. What types of data will you collect?
  2. What format(s) will the data be in?
  3. What will your policies be for sharing the data?
  4. What will your policies be for the dissemination and re-use of the data?
  5. How will you archive the data?
If you'd like to take a more in depth look into Data Management Plans and Research Data Management, try these online resources:

Why do I need a Data Management Plan?

The simplest answer for why you need a Data Management Plan is because so many funding agencies, including AUS, require them to be included in your proposals. Other than that, having a Data Management Plan in place and implementing it:

  • helps researchers optimize their use of data

  • makes collaborating with other researchers easier

  • ensures data is preserved for future researchers after the project has finished.

  • help researchers make longitudinal comparisons

  • allows researchers to verify, and more easily replicate, results

  • decreases scholarly fraud

  • reduces redundant research and encourages replication instead of duplication.

How can the library help with my Data Management Plan?

The library can help you with your Data Management Plan in a few ways:

First of all, obviously, we have assembled this LibGuide as step one to assist you!

Second, contact your liaison librarian for one-on-one support and assistance in writing your Data Management Plan.

Third, the library can help you archive and make accessible your data as part of the implementation of your Data Management Plan. Whether you would like to house physical records in our Archives, where the AUS community can access them, or we may be able to house your data in our Institutional Repository, DSpace, depending on the format.

What types of Data could be included?

Any materials generated or collected during the course of conducting research. This could be different depending on various disciplines and contexts.

Examples include:

  • Quantitative data
  • Blood samples
  • Physical collections
  • Software/code
  • Interview transcripts
  • Geographic information
  • Questionnaires
  • Code books
  • Descriptions of methodologies