Why you should manage your research data
Managing research data is becoming increasingly important. It will help you to:
- increase the efficiency of your research process
- avoid losing data
- enable data re-use and sharing
- meet the requirements of research funders and the University of Kent
- comply with the policies of many journal publishers on making the data underlying publications available
- increase your visibility through citations
How does a data management plan help?
As well as being needed for some funding applications, writing a data management plan can also be a useful process in itself. It helps you to:
- consider your project as a whole
- think about the steps and different parts
- plan for every eventuality
- keep track of what changes you have made, and why, as your project progresses, so you don't lose this information.
Research funders' requirements
The RCUK Common Principles on Research Data Policy states: "Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner."
Funding bodies may need you to develop a data management plan as part of your grant application – see summaries of UK research funders' data policies.
The University of Kent’s research data management policy states that all new research proposals must include a data management plan which:
- explicitly addresses data capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, retention, sharing and publication
- makes sure that research data are available for others to access and re-use where legally, ethically and commercially appropriate, taking note of any relevant safeguards
- is released in a timely way, as appropriate to the nature of the research and the discipline