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Data management planning

What are data management plans?

Research data management plans are documents that describe:

  • how data will be collected
  • where data will be stored
  • who will be able to access the data
  • how access will be controlled
  • how long data will be kept after the end of the project
  • if data will be shared, either open-access or via mediated access.

Why plan?

Taking the time to plan research data management at the start of a research project creates benefits during the project, and after the project is complete.

Benefits include:

  • improved efficiency in the handling of your data
  • data is easier to find, interpret and analyse
  • caring for your data reflects its high value and leads to improved research quality
  • protection from data-related risks such as data errors, data loss or security breaches
  • funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of data management planning in their policies and conditions

La Trobe University research data management policy

The La Trobe Research Data Management Policy states:

"All new research proposals must include a Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) that clearly documents research data management issues, such as the collection, ownership, retention, export or supply, storage and preservation of research data and primary materials. At a minimum, documentation must address what data is to be generated by the research and the plans for managing the data.

Research data and primary materials must be collected and managed in accordance with best practice standards within research fields and disciplines, as well as meeting legal, statutory and ethical requirements

Research involving human participants, materials, samples or data requires approval from the University Human Ethics Committee (UHEC) in accordance with its guidelines."

See the La Trobe University Research Data Management Policy.