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5 tips for good data management

Data management involves everything from secure collection of the data to where the data is archived at the end of the research project. The goal is to ensure high-quality data, which in turn enables data reuse and data sharing.

1. Start your plan as early as possible

A data management plan (DMP) helps you plan your research by describing how the data will be handled from start to finish in your project.

Create your data management plan as early as possible, preferably before the start of your project. A data management plan is a living document; the plan will be further developed as the project progresses.

2. Find out how your own institution can help you

Many institutions have their own guidelines for handling, storing and archiving research data, and several also offer support and help in completing a data management plan. Find out how your institution’s administrative and library services can help you.

3. Make a plan that works for you

A data management plan should not just be a bureaucratic exercise. A well-thought-out plan is a document that helps to ensure that research data is stored and used safely and efficiently throughout the project period.

Tailor the plan to your specific project. Do not rely too much on information provided in other data management plans.

4. Keep to the point – focus on data

Create a plan that is adapted to the scope of the project. A plan should be as simple as possible and as complex as necessary.

Focus on the data itself. Do not include a lot of additional information about your research and your project if it is not useful to the data management plan.

5. Be specific

Be specific and pay attention to which parts of the data you refer to throughout the plan. Different types of data must be handled in different ways.

Choose a tool that supports you in this. NSD's data management plan is designed to help you describe and evaluate management of various data packages in your project.