RLS: Data Management Support
Introduction to Data Management
What is Data Management?
The life cycle of research encompasses many steps, here is a visual schematic of this process from Oregon State University-please click on the image for additional information:
Faculty and researchers across the world are producing increasing amounts of data in various formats. As scholars, it is our responsibility to ensure that data is stored, shared and utilized as broadly and ethically as possible. The library plays a central role in assisting faculty with all of their data management needs and we look forward to partnering with you across the entire cycle of your work, from the grant application stage to the dissemination and archiving of your finished product. The National Institute of Health offers several reasons for sharing research data:
reinforcing open scientific inquiry
encouraging diversity of analysis and opinion
promoting new research, testing of new or alternative hypotheses and methods of analysis
supporting studies on data collection methods and measurement
facilitating education of new researchers
enabling the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators
permitting the creation of new datasets by combining data from multiple sources
Data Management Resources and Services
Data Management Plans
What is a data management plan?
A data management plan is a formal document that outlines what you will do with your data during and after you complete your research. It describes the data that will be created, the standards used to describe the data (metadata), who owns the data, who can access the data, how long the data will be preserved (and/or made accessible), and what facilities and equipment will be necessary to disseminate, share, and/or preserve the data. Several funding agencies require or encourage the development of data management plans for research.
What are the elements of a data management plan?
- Description of the project, its purpose and the staff involved
- Description of the data to be collected: the nature and format of the data and how it will be collected
- Standards to be applied for describing this data (metadata)
- Plans for storage of data including security, access, backups, etc.
- Protecting identity of participants, intellectual property of the methods, information, etc. in question
- How this data will be made available to others-please see funding agency requirements below
- How will the data be stored and archived for the long term
- Here is a checklist from UNC Odum Institute to help you identify the elements you'll need for your plan
- Sample data plans: http://www.irss.unc.ed/odum/contentSubpage.jsp?nodeid=570
Public Access Policies and Resources
Public Access Policies and Resources
An increasing number of funding agencies are requiring researchers to create a data management plan and make their data publicly accessible. In February of 2013 the White House issued a memorandum directing federal agencies with more the 100 million spent in research and development to plan for increased public access to research. In May, the Office of Management and Budget began requiring federal agencies to treat information as an asset throughout its life cycle promoting open access. See the resulting Open Data Policy and Executive Order.
For more information see:
- The Open White House
- Public Access Policies, Association of Research Libraries
- Office of Science and Technology Policy Public Access Policy Forum
The requirements of the federal funding mandates is still evolving and varies by agency.
To check the data management and sharing policy requirements of your funding agency - including the contents of the data management plan, methods for providing access to data, and data documentation, see:
- Browse Data Sharing Requirements by Federal Agency
Community resource for tracking, comparing, and understanding both current and future U.S. federal funder research data sharing policies.
For information on federal agency public access plans see:
- Implementation of Public Access Programs in Federal Agencies
Information on federal agency plans and guidance for implementation of public access. The site will capture information as it is released to the public by agencies.
- U.S. Agencies – Public Access Plans Details
Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) tracks the following U.S. funding agencies public access plans and their respective requirements.