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Research Data Management: Data Management Checklist

Designed to familiarize faculty and other researchers with the growing literature on research data services at ASU and abroad.

Use this checklist to identify the services and workflows you will need to address in  your DMP. 

  1. Types of data

    • What kinds of data - survey, interview, observation, machine or instrument collected, physical samples, models, etc. - are you collecting?
    • What formats - paper, digital, image, audio, other - will the data be in?
    • How much data  and at what growth rate?  Consider the number and size of files, total size if all stored in one computer folder. How will you collect and how often will it change?
    • Will it be reproducible? What would happen if it got lost or became unusable later?
  2. Data formats and standards

    • Do you have data dictionaries, code books or other documentation to explain terms, variable names, codes and abbreviations used?
    • Have you provided documentation describing how the data were collected or created?
    • Have you used standard collection methods, standard data formats, and standard file format choices (if these exist for your research field)?
  3. Data access policies

    • Have you removed personal or sensitive information from your data to ensure privacy protection?
    • Have you established who owns the copyright of your data?
    • Do you have documentation on how institutional and personal credit should be acknowledged for your data?
    • Are your data, records, and files labeled and logically organized?
    • Have you used consistent and easy to understand file names?
  4. Data use and distribution

    • How will your data be made available?
    • Do you plan to limit re-use or re-distribution of your data? If so, why and for how long?
    • Are you planning to enforce an embargo period restricting access to your research outside of your research team?
  5. Data preservation and archiving

    • Have you identified a Digital Repository that will make your research data accessible to view and download?
    • Have you made arrangements for the long-term storage and preservation of your data (both physical and digital collection items)?
    • Do you have data security plans in place to ensure that copies of your data are stored and backed up on a regular basis?
    • If there are costs associated with depositing your data in a digital repository, or otherwise ensuring their long-term preservation, do you have funding to cover those costs?
    • Are you using data formats and software that enable sharing and ensure long-term validity of data, such as non-proprietary software and software based on open standards?
    • When converting from one format to another, have you checked that no data are lost or changed in the process?

This checklist is based on the Digital Curation Centre Data Management Plan.

In the next module checkout the DMP Tool for examples and templates.

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