Check back soon to see more FAQ and their answers. If you have a question, or your question is below and not answered yet, please contact us!
What is a data management plan? This is a document that outlines what you will do with your data. It is separate from the data itself, and can be a living document. It often takes the form of a list of questions that you can answer to think about your data, similarly to how an ethics approval form is a list of questions to think about your ethics.
I don't have time to make a data management plan, and I already know what I'm doing. Why do I need to do this? Try to think of a data management plan as something that will help you and save you time in the long term! There might be things you haven't considered yet that you should be thinking about with your research or that will help you research more efficiently. Additionally, a DMP can help you map out what you will do if something happens unexpectedly during your research, like a team member leaving unexpectedly or a change in the amount of data you have.
Why do I need to deposit my data? Depositing data can have several benefits. If your data is deposited online, more people will be able to use your data to conduct their own research, which can benefit the reproducibility of your project, data, and area of study. It also ensures that the data will be preserved long-term, instead of getting lost on a hard drive or in a filing cabinet. While depositing data online isn’t a comprehensive requirement for all data and all projects, it is likely that future grants will require data to be deposited. Individual journals may have deposit requirements as well, not just funding agencies.
I have sensitive data. How do I meet deposit requirements that might come up later? Granting agencies, journal publishers, and libraries all understand the importance of protecting sensitive data. None of the deposit requirements are meant to be an Open Access data policy. If you are able to de-identify and anonymize your data to deposit it, do so. Every dataset is different—if you have sensitive data you think you are required to deposit, work with your funder or journal to find a solution that protects your data, and please contact us if you are unsure.
I have/will have huge amounts of data. What should I do? Contact TRU IT Services and work with them to find a solution that will meet your needs of storage space and access. It's best to do this as soon as possible so you can have your storage set up when you start your data collection.
My project is a scoping/systematic/literature review. Do I need a DMP? What would it look like? If you have a scoping or systematic review, you will still be collecting data, even though it looks different. Therefore, you should still have a DMP. Here is a good guide about writing a DMP for a scoping review, that is linked on the Resources page of this guide as well: DMPs for Systematic Reviews
I am doing several projects with overlapping data and these projects will span several years. How many DMPs do I need? There are a few solutions for this, and it will depend on your particular research. Would it be easier to have a separate plan for individual datasets? Will some datasets be published/deposited before others? Is a DMP mandated for part of your research because of a funder, but not other parts? Are there different research teams for different stages of the research? These questions can help you decide if you need just one plan, or multiple. On the Portage DMP Assistant, you can duplicate a DMP, so if you are finding that you need a second DMP to address parts of your research differently, you can easily make a copy of the plan so you don’t need to replicate answers. Overall, if you can have fewer plans, that will make your life much easier!
Who has the responsibility to deposit data? This is something you get to decide as part of your plan! Generally, this should be the principle investigator who is responsible, though actual tasks around depositing may be assigned to different people on the team. If you have a past project without a DMP, and you’d like to deposit the data but aren’t sure who owns the data and who has the responsibility to upload it, talk with your team or graduate supervisor.
Questions? Need help with your DMP or storage? Have a suggestion for this guide? Please get in touch!
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