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Create a data management plan

Decisions made as early as possible about data management can save you a great deal of time and simplify your research. A research data management plan (DMP) helps you structure your thinking about how to organize your data and what the data management will cost in time and money. A DMP can also help you plan for any regulatory, ethical, and open access issues during and after your project.

Many funders require that grant holders have data management plans in place from the beginning. If the DMP is kept up to date throughout the research project it can be a useful resource when documenting methods, results, costs, and so on. This is especially relevant for projects that will run for several years or involve several researchers.

The basic elements in a DMP

A research data management plan (DMP) describes how research data will be collected, managed, organised, stored and made accessible during the research process and how it will be preserved long-term after the project is complete.

The following checklist covers the basic elements of a simple DMP:

  • What kind of data will you collect or create?
  • How will you collect or create the data?
  • What documentation and metadata is needed for your data to remain useable?
  • What are the ethical requirements?
  • How will you resolve any copyright issues?
  • How will you store the data so it is secure and accessible?
  • How will you back up the data during the project?
  • Which data can be reused, shared, or preserved?
  • How will you share the data? What are the regulatory requirements?
  • How will the data be archived or preserved in the long term?
  • Who is responsible for managing the data during the project?
  • What resources will you need to implement the DMP (for example, staff, software, or hardware)? What are the costs associated the DMP?

Funders’ requirements

Many funders not only require grant holders to have DMPs, but they also have specific requirements for DMP design and content. The Swedish Research Council and Formas, for example, recommend following the Science Europe guidelines for DMPs.

A practical guide to research data management on the Science Europe website

Further support and guidance

Further guidance about research data management is available on the following websites.

About data management plans on the Swedish National Data Service (SND) website

About data management and sharing plans on the UK Digital Curation Centre (DCC) website

Lund University DMPRoadmap

Doctoral students and researchers of Lund University can use the university’s tool for research data management plans, DMPRoadmap. There is a template for projects funded by the Swedish Research Council and a general Lund University template. The templates meet Science Europe requirements. You can ask the Library of Science librarians for feedback on your DMP through DMPRoadmap.

How to create a DMP using DMPRoadmap –

Online course on creating data management plans

The Library of Science offers an open online course on data management and data management plans.

The course provides instructions and practical advice that will help you when you create a data management plan (DMP) for your research project. The focus of the course is on the template for data management plans provided in DMPRoadmap, which follows the guidelines for data management plans developed by Science Europe. The course is given online and consists of a number of short instruction videos with a total length of 1 hour and 40 minutes. After you have finished the course, you will still have access to all of the course content and you are free to go back and repeat any part of the course you like.

The course is open to all our researchers (both at the Faculty of Science and LTH) and you do not need to register to join. You can take the course any time you like and at your own pace. To start the course, use the link below.

Link to the online course Introduction to data management plans and DMP Roadmap

DMP help

Doctoral students and researchers of Lund University are welcome to contact the Library of Science for help creating DMPs or to arrange tutorials and workshops on data management.

Anja Zimmerman
Subject-specialist librarian in research data at the Biology Library and the Geolibrary.
anja [dot] zimmerman [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone: +46 76 13 91 701

Fredrik Larsson
Subject-specialist librarian in research data at the Library of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
fredrik [dot] larsson [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone: +46 73 86 73 981

Thomas Tengelin Nyström
Subject-specialist librarian in research data at the Physics- and Astronomy Library.
thomas [dot] tengelin_nystrom [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se
Phone: +46 72 08 49 804