Creating a Data Management Plan is an opportunity for the researcher to think through and plan for different stages in the data lifecycle. The Data Management Plan outlines needs and goals for collecting, organizing, documenting, preserving, and distributing the data associated with a particular research project.
Some questions that should be addressed by a data management plan include:
- What research data will be created? See MIT's page on Evaluating Your Data Needs for more ideas.
- What policies (funding, institutional, and legal) apply to the data?
- What data management practices (backups, storage, access control, archiving) will be used? See MIT's Backups and Security, Organizing Your Files, and File Formats for useful guidance.
- What facilities and equipment will be required (hard-disk space, backup server, and repository)?
- Who will own and have access to the data? Who will be responsible for each aspect of the plan?
- How will data reuse be enabled and long-term preservation ensured after the original research is completed?