Many digital scholarship research groups have gathered or used data in some form in the course of their research. A formal Data Management Plan is a written assessment of how that data has been or will be collected, organized, shared, maintained, and preserved over time.
Why Manage Your Data?
There are several reasons why you would want to create a Data Management Plan:
- To fulfill grant requirements
- To improve project efficiency
- To organize large sets of data
- To preserve data
- To encourage reuse
- To promote research
Creating a Data Management Plan
To create a Data Management Plan you will need to review your existing data and establish a set of data management goals. Start by analyzing your data (what kind(s) of data? how much data? who needs your data? how will it be used in the future?), then think about how you can organize your data (consider file naming conventions, directory structures, metadata standards, and data formats). You should also think about how the data will be accessed in the future (what will be shared? how will it be shared? when will it be shared?) and who will be responsible for your data over time. If you need to create a DMP to fulfill a grant requirement, you will also need to consult grant funding agency’s data management guidelines (NSF, NEH, IMLS).
There are many management planning tools to help you get started with your plan:
- DMP Tool (California Digital Library)
- Questionnaire to Help with the Creation of a Data Management Plan (Johns Hopkins University)
- Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information Form [PDF] (IMLS)
If you are interested in learning more about data management and data management plans for digital scholarship, please contact us by filling out the form located here.