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Research Data Management

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

Use this checklist to identify the services and workflows you will need to address in your Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMP)

This checklist includes sections proposal reviewers, and your institution, generally expect to see in your Data Management Plan (DMP). The information addresses how you will create, protect, and share project data. It is based on a synthesis of funder requirements, institutional guidelines and other good practice. Details and order will vary depending on the funding opportunity and the approach and details you include should be appropriate to your research. Focus on the themes most relevant to you. A DMP typically ranges from one to two pages. Please check formatting restrictions if you are responding to funder requirements, as page limits are sometimes imposed

Administrative Data

Basic information to identify and contextualize your plan. Identifiers may help to link your DMP with information held in other systems. You should include:

  • Basic information e.g. project title, your name, contact details, reference numbers / IDs
  • A summary of the research to explain the purpose for which data are being collected.
  • Details of related policies and procedures e.g. institutional data policy or departmental guidelines.

Data Collection

Indicate what data you will collect and how:

  • Any existing data you can reuse?
  • What kinds of data - survey, interview, observation, machine or instrument collected, physical samples, models, etc. - are you collecting?
    • How will you collect and how often will it change?
    • 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. 
  • Will it be reproducible? What standards and methodologies will you use? 
  • What would happen if it got lost or became unusable later?

Data Collection - formats and standards

  • Do you have data dictionaries, code books or other documentation to explain terms, variable names, codes and abbreviations used?
  • Do your chosen formats and software enable sharing and long-term access to the data?
  • 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)?

Documentation and Metadata

Consider and briefly summarize what information is needed for the data to be to be read and interpreted in the future. Estimate how much time and effort will be needed to create this supporting documentation and ensure that you allow for sufficient resource to cover this.

Storage and backup - archive and preservation plan

  • 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?

Data Sharing - 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?

Data Sharing - 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?

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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