Data management plan - Kunnskapsbasen
Data management plan
On this wiki page you can find information about what a data management plan is, NTNU's guidelines, why a data management plan is useful and what it should contain to fulfill necessary requirements.
What is a data management plan (DMP)?
A DMP is a document describing how data in a research project will be managed, from project start up, throughout the research process and in the time after completion of the project.
A DMP describes what data will be collected or generated. The plan states how the data will be stored, described with metadata, analysed and, if possible, shared. The plan also addresses issues related to rights, privacy and costs.
A DMP is a tool for planning and raising awareness, and should be a "living document" which is updated during the course of the research project.
Why write a DMP?
Setting up a DMP in the early phases of a research project can help to identify challenges and issues at an early stage. These can be related to information security, documentation, costs and responsibilities.
A good plan for how to organize and describe the data can make the project work more effective by making it easier to understand and work with the data, especially in larger research projects. Good documentation and data management contributes to increased data quality, as well as verifiability and reuse.
According to NTNU's Guidelines for Policy for Open Science, all research projects must have a DMP, and in the National strategy on access to and sharing of research data from the Ministry of Education and Research there is a clear expectation that research institutions have procedures for approval of data management plans.
Several research funding agencies also have requirements that have to be met by the projects they fund:
- The Research Council of Norway has a policy for Open Access to Research Data, where the standard is that the projects they fund should have a DMP. On the Reseach Council's website, you can read more about their guidelines and what a data management plan could include. From January 2020 the Research Council has a new policy on open science.
- Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for research and innovation, requires data management plans for all projects. For more information, see Horizon Europe Programme Guide.
How to write a DMP
The content and scope of a DMP will vary, but there are some topics that should be addressed:
- Data collection, methods
- Description of data, formats, organising, metadata
- Storing, archiving, backup, sharing
- Intellectual rights, licences, privacy, ethics
- Costs, responsibility
Important: If your data includes personal data, specific requirements apply. For more information, see Collection of personal data for research projects.
Courses and guidance
For a broader introduction to open science and data mangement at NTNU see the online course Research data management and open science.
The NTNU University Library and NTNU IT-services have established a support service for research data, Research Data @NTNU. Please contact us if you have questions or if want to book a visit at your department or in your research group.
Choosing a tool
There are several useful online tools and templates which can help you create a DMP. Here are recommendations if you are setting up a DMP at NTNU:
- EU project
- Tool: DMPOnline
- Template: Horizon Europe
- Comment: You have to register your own user and choose "other" for Organization.
- Projects processing personal data
- Tool: Sikt DMP
- Comment: Log in using Feide (NTNU-user). The plan can be shared with others. Sikt also offers secure archiving of research data.
- The tool is adapted to NTNU's guidelines for collection, storage and transfer and is suitable for smaller projects (for example master's projects). For larger projects with more complex data flows, it may be worthwhile to use DMPOnline and the Science Europe template (see under "All other projects").
- Life sciences
- Clinical study
- Contact the Clinical Research Unit, Klinforsk (Klinisk forskningsenhet Midt-Norge)
- Comment: A designated support service at NTNU/St. Olav
- All other projects: DMPOnline
- Tool: DMPOnline
- Template: Science Europe
- Comment: You have to register your own user and choose "other" for Organization. Choose "Science Europe" under "Primary funding organization", or go to the "Reference"tab > Funder Requirements and create a new plan from the Science Europe template.
Science Europe Practical Guide provides an introduction to the core requirements for a data management plan.
NTNU-adapted guidance to the Science Europe template in DMPOnline can be found here.
Roles and responsibilities
NTNU's guidelines for open science specify the individual researcher's responsibility for creating a DMP for each research project.
The support service Research Data @NTNU consists of resource persons from the University Library and the IT department. Research Data @NTNU offers direct advice and guidance to projects, to academic staff or in collaboration with, for example, research advisers and administration at the individual faculty/institute.
Publishing the DMP
Here are some links to different resources that might be useful when you are writing a data management plan, in addition to some on data mangement in general and other related topics.
- The online course Research Data Management and Open Science created by NTNU University Library.
- Science Europe Practical Guide
- The Research Council of Norway has a guide for data management plans on their webpage Sharing research data.
- How FAIR are your data? is a check list based on the FAIR Data Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).
- EU advisors at your faculty - if you want help to set up a DMP when you are writing applications for research funding
- Research Data @NTNU - if you have questions, feedback or need advice when developing a data management plan, contact Research Data @NTNU through NTNU Hjelp. External users can send an email to email@example.com (if you have an NTNU user account your request will be handled in the NTNU Hjelp portal).
- Your local library - if you have other questions about library services
Follow our Innsida channel “Nytt fra Universitetsbiblioteket” (“News from the University Library”)