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Research Data Management at Queen's University

Guide to Research Data Management planning

Writing a Data Management Plan

Writing a data management plan is increasingly seen as a key part of the academic research process.

The Portage Network has developed an online tool designed to help Canadian academic researchers develop and implement research data management plans.DMP Assistant

The DMP Assistant provides a step-by-step approach to writing a data management plan, with step-by-step guidance provided along the way.

DMP Assistant

Data Management Checklist

To schedule a consultation with a data specialist for assistance with writing a data management plan, please first contact your Subject Liaison Librarian. The following table provides an overview of some of the data management issues you should be thinking about during and after your project.

Data Collection
  • What type(s) of data will be produced?
  • What file format(s) will the data be saved as? Are those file formats proprietary? Will they degrade?
  • Will the data be reproducible?
  • Do you need tools or software to create/process/visualize the data?
  • How much data? 
  • Will it grow?
  • How often will it change?
Documentation & Metadata
  • Think about what is needed to make your data 'independently understandable'
  • How will you capture this information over the life of the project?
  • What directory and file naming conventions will be used?
  • Is there a descriptive schema or metadata standard commonly used in your field?
Storage & Backup
  • What are the strategies for storage and backup of the data?
  • Use the '3-2-1 Rule': 3 copies, 2 formats, and at least 1 off-site copy
  • Are you aware of backup options at Queen's?
  • Think about preservation-friendly, non-proprietary formats.
  • Where will you deposit your data for long-term preservation and access?
Sharing & Reuse
  • Think about what data you'll be sharing (raw data, processed data...)
  • Consider what end-user license you might use.
  • How will others learn about your data?
Responsibilities & Resources
  • Who in your research group will be responsible for data management?
  • Who controls the data (PI, student, lab, funder)?
  • What resources are required to manage your data?
Ethics & Legal Compliance
  • Consider how you'll store and transfer sensitive data securely.
  • Consider how you'll manage secondary use of sensitive data.
  • Can a 'public' (anonymized, de-identified) version of your data be created?
  • How will you manage legal, ethical, and intellectual property issues?