Implement Data Management Plan

Now that your project has been awarded, you will need to prepare a full Data Management Plan (DMP), building on the details that you included in the outline Data Management Plan in your proposal.

Writing your DMP

Your data management plan is a document that describes your plans for creating, organising, documenting, storing and sharing data. It takes into account issues such as data protection and confidentiality, data preservation and curation, and provides a framework that supports researchers and their data throughout the course of their research and beyond. A DMP is designed to be a living document, and it is important to update your plan as necessary throughout the project.

You can create your own DMP by using either of the following:

  • DMPonline  - a flexible, free web-based tool to assist you to create a personalised plan, according to your context or research funder.
  • UCD Library has created a DMP checklist that can be used to create your DMP if your funding agency does not provide one.

Funding Agency Requirements

Funding agencies increasingly expect and require the data generated during the course of a research project to be shared or deposited in an accessible data centre or repository. Data management plans must now be included in all grant proposals to the European Research Council and other European Union-funded research programmes. Many national funding agencies in Europe  also ask for data plans. Learn about funders' requirements for research data management here.   

Data Responsibility

  • Hire a dedicated project manager who, alongside their main function, also has explicit responsibility for data management.
  • Access to your data needs to be controlled. One person needs to oversee data collection and file management.
  • If you are working with multiple partners, discuss and agree who will have ownership of the data at the end of the project.
  • Establish and publish a policy on data sharing at the end of the project if appropriate. Include governance on who makes the decision to share the data and if there are any restrictions.
  • At the end of the project, ensure your long-term data storage procedures are executed, for example, submission to data repositories, specific funding agency requirements or otherwise.

Data Format and Documentation

  • Spend time at the start of the project developing file structure and associated documentation procedures, for example file naming conventions and file folder organisation.
  • Decide what file formats will be used, both during the research project, and for long term access and sharing of the data at the end of the project.
  • Decide what documentation and metadata should be generated and ensure this is captured as you go. Establish a data dictionary for all variables within the data and embedded this in the documentation. 
  • Carry out regular data audits to ensure adherence to file conversion processes, file naming conventions, storage and backup routines, and ongoing documentation.

Back-up and Security

  • Establish and document back-up routines.
  • Implement data security protocols, including the creation of strong passwords and encrypting individual files or devices. See UCD IT Service's security policies for further information.
  • If you are collecting data from human subjects, develop a consent form, which allows for data sharing at the end of the research project.

Data Repositories

  • Consider suitable archives or repositories for your research data as early as possible, so you can ensure compliance with the requirements of the archive or repository, for example file formats, required documentation, etc.
  • If you are using third party data, ensure that you understand who owns the copyright to these data. Check any data sharing agreements to see what data can and can't be shared at the end of the research project.

Self-Service Supports

Central Supports

ServicesContact Details

UCD Library Research Services is responsible for developing and delivering specialist and innovative services to researchers, including Research Data Management.

Dr. Amanda Doran

ServicesContact Details

UCD IT Services provides the following information on data management:
Data Classification Policy
Data / Cloud Storage FAQs
IT Security

UCD IT Services Research IT
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UCD Research Ethics & Integrity provides advice on data storage and retention

Guidelines on the security and retention of research data

ServicesContact Details

UCD provides information and resources around the protection of personal data and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

For the most up to date UCD policies and procedures on data protection, please see the following website

ServicesContact Details

UCD Legal manages the preparation, review and input of advice to UCD legal documentation relating to Data Sharing agreements.

UCD Legal
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The Technology Transfer team in UCD Innovation (NovaUCD) can provide advice on protecting your Intellectual Property (IP).

Protect your IP