Data Management Plans - content

3. Why have a data management plan?

Having a document that assists with the management of data within your research, as described above, is a substantial reason on its own for having a DMP.  Nevertheless, there are also a number of broader reasons why data management planning can be a valuable component of your research process.

  • Helping to flag up where assistance may be required and is available
  • Ensuring research data and records are accurate, complete, authentic and reliable
  • Avoiding unnecessary data duplication
  • Increasing research efficiency
  • Communicating research data practice to others (enabling continuity if staff change)
  • Saving time and resources in the long run
  • Enhancing data security and minimising the risk of data loss
  • Ensuring research integrity and reproducibility

There are also professional reasons why data management should be an integral part of research.

  • Funders increasingly require a data management plan.  Guidance on funder requirements can be found through the SHERPA JULIET service, though it is also advisable to check details with individual funders when applying.  Funders are requesting this because of the reasons listed above.
  • Data management is becoming an acknowledged research skill.  Demonstrating good practice in this area through good planning will stand the test of time in supporting future research activity.

Good data management can lead to data publication, an alternative and additional form of research dissemination that provides credit and citation for the effort in creating and implementing a DMP.