Creating a Data Management Plan

Before starting a new research project, it is critical to develop a data management plan (DMP) that outlines your practices for collecting, organizing, backing up, and storing the data you will be generating. To help you begin writing a DMP, we provide a general template that includes questions to address; however, funding agencies like the National Science Foundation have specific guidelines on what information to include in your DMP that should take precedence.

Action Plan

  1. Review your funding agency guidelines for data sharing and determine requirements that need to be addressed
  2. Get help writing your DMP:
  3. Implement your plan by using tools and resources found across campus

Points to address in your DMP

  1. What types of data will be produced in terms of format, file size, and classification (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, or sensitive)?
  2. What metadata standards do you need to follow for documentation?
  3. Do any considerations need to be make to protect sensitive information, including study participant confidentiality and intellectual property protection?
  4. What policies do you need to follow with respect to data sharing and reuse?
  5. How will you ensure archiving and preservation of the data you will produce?

Resources and Examples

The Libraries have organized the following resources that may be useful for you as you write your DMP:

A long-term data sharing and preservation plan will be used to store and make publicly accessible the data beyond the life of the project. The data will be deposited into the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM), http://hdl.handle.net/11299/166578. This University Libraries’ hosted institutional data repository is an open access platform for dissemination and archiving of university research data. Date files in DRUM are written to an Isilon storage system with two copies, one local to ​each of the two geographically separated University of Minnesota Data Centers​. The local Isilon cluster stores the data in such a way that the data can survive the loss of any two disks or any one node of the cluster. Within two hours of the initial write, data replication to the 2nd Isilon cluster commences. The 2nd cluster employs the same protections as the local cluster, and both verify with a checksum procedure that data has not altered on write. In addition, DRUM provides long-term preservation of digital data files for at least 10 years using services such as migration (limited format types), secure backup, bit-level checksums, and maintains a persistent DOIs for data sets, facilitating data citations. In accordance to DRUM policies, the (deidentified, if applicable) data will be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, metadata, and code to facilitate reuse and provide the potential for interoperability with similar data sets.

Need help?

Contact Us with your questions and we will consult with you or point you to the right person, resource, or service on campus.