Desk with computer, phone and calendar

Plan and organize research project

Documentation is a critical step in the planning phase where good practices for the management of research data and research results are established and secured. Drafting a DMP should be a natural part of the research process undertaken at the beginning of a research project, and the plan should be updated continually during the course of the work. For individual researchers, a DMP is an effective means of gaining control over how materials are managed, stored and located, as well as ensuring that the project is in compliance with current regulations and other legal and ethical considerations. It also serves to prepare materials for the archives once the project has been completed. DMPs can vary depending on the field of research, types of data used and potential specific requirements from funding bodies.

A number of research funding bodies already have recommendations and, in some cases requirements, for DMPs. By 2019, all who receive grants from Swedish Research Council must have a data management plan. Research projects included in pilot projects for open research within the Horizon 2020 framework are expected to compose a DMP in accordance with their guidelines (PDF).

Base Content of a DMP

In addition to the central documentation below, a data management plan should contain basic administrative information such as project title, project manager, diary number or equivalent, date and version of DHP.

Central parts that a data management plan should include:

  1. Data description and collection or re-use of existing data
  2. Documentation and data quality
  3. Storage and backup
  4. Legal and ethical requirements
  5. Accessibility and long-term storage
  6. Responsibility and resources

The central parts above is based on “Core Requirements for Data Management Plans”, and is a partially reworked version produced by Swedish Research Council in collaborated with the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, SUHF.

Checklist for a DMP

The Swedish National Data Service (SND) has formulated a useful checklist for a DMP (PDF). The checklist is a translation of the SND's checklist in Swedish, which contains more extensive information for each element.

DMPonline tool - create, review, and share data management plans

The British Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has developed a tool for creating data management plans. Stockholm University has access to the DCC DMP online and employees of Stockholm University can connect by logging in with their SU ID. Creation of an account at DMP Online gives researchers access to a template which fulfills the requirements for data management plans from, e.g. the EU Horizon 2020 scheme.

Presentation slides (PDF) from two webinars on Data Management Plans, using DMPonline, given at Stockholm University as part of a course for Ph.D.-students from three Swedish universities in October 2018. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.1494143