All manner of things that researchers
produce in the course of their work
What is research data?
Research data are collected, observed or created, for
the purposes of analysis to produce and validate
original research results
Both analogue and digital materials are 'data'
Digital data can be:
created in a digital form ("born digital")
converted to a digital form (digitised)
Defining research data
“the active management and
appraisal of data over the
lifecycle of scholarly and
Data management is part of
good research practice
What is Research Data Management?
What is involved in RDM?
- Data Management Planning (DMPs)
- Creating data
- Documenting data
- Storing data
- Sharing data
- Preserving data
Why manage research data?
- so data can be found and understand when needed
- to make sure research projects can be completed!
- to avoid unnecessary duplication
- to validate results if required
- so research is visible and has impact
- to get credit when others cite the research
Good data management is about
making informed decisions
1. Research funders expect DMPs
2. Researchers should seek consent for
data sharing & preservation too
If not, data centres won’t be able to accept the data
– regardless of any conditions on the original grant.
3. Some formats are better for the long-term
Type Recommended Avoid for data sharing
Tabular data CSV, TSV, SPSS portable Excel
Text Plain text, HTML, RTF
PDF/A only if layout matters
Media Container: MP4, Ogg
Codec: Theora, Dirac, FLAC
Images TIFF, JPEG2000, PNG GIF, JPG
Structured data XML, RDF RDBMS
Data centres may have preferred formats for deposit.
If researchers plan to deposit in data centres they should check
their expectations at the start of the research process.
Further examples: http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/create-manage/format/formats-table
4. One copy = risk of data loss
5. Researchers should know their options
Encourage researchers to find out what support is available
– Speak to the library & local IT support
– Check out what facilities are available in the department
– See what others in their discipline are doing
– Find out what their funder expects and offers
– Check out external data centres - http://databib.org
Managing and sharing data guide by the UKDA
What is a DMP?
A short plan written by researchers that outlines
• what data they will create and how
• how they will manage it (storage, back-up, access…)
• plans for data sharing and preservation
Why develop a DMP?
DMPs are often submitted with grant applications, but
are useful whenever you are creating data to:
• Make informed decisions to anticipate and avoid problems
• Avoid duplication, data loss and security breaches
• Develop procedures early on for consistency
• Ensure data are accurate, complete, reliable and secure
• Save time and effort – make your life easier!
What do research funders want?
• A brief plan submitted in grant applications
• 1-3 sides of A4 as attachment or a section in Je-S form
• Typically a prose statement covering suggested themes
• An outline of data management and sharing plans,
justifying decisions and any limitations
Five common themes
1. Description of data to be collected / created
(i.e. content, type, format, volume...)
2. Standards / methodologies for data collection & management
3. Ethics and Intellectual Property
(highlight any restrictions on data sharing e.g. embargoes, confidentiality)
4. Plans for data sharing and access
(i.e. how, when, to whom)
5. Strategy for long-term preservation
Tips on writing DMPs
• Keep it simple, short and specific
• Seek advice - consult and collaborate
• Base plans on available skills and support
• Make sure implementation is feasible
• Justify any resources or restrictions needed
A useful framework to get started
Think about why the
questions are being
Look at examples to
get an idea of what
• Technical plan submitted to AHRC by Bristol Uni
• Rural Economy & Land Use (RELU) programme examples
• UCSD example DMPs (20+ scientific plans for NSF)
• My DMP – a satire (what not to write!)
Help from the DCC
A web-based tool to help researchers
write data management plans, based on
the DCC Checklist for a DMP
How does DMPonline work?
Create a plan
Institutions can customise DMPonline
Select / write
Add your logo, colours, URL…
Profile local support via
custom guidance and
Thanks – any questions?
DCC guidance, tools and case studies:
Follow us on twitter:
@digitalcuration and #ukdcc
How to support researchers with DMPs?
What role do (or should) you play?
- Raising awareness of requirements?
- Providing basic advice?
- Pointing researchers to relevant services?
- Helping to write plans and cost in RDM support?
What do you need to support researchers?
- Guidance on the intranet / FAQs?
- Training (more than today?)
- More time/resource?