Data management plan
On this wiki page you can find information about what a data management plan is, NTNU's guidelines, why a data management plan is useful and what it should contain to fulfill necessary requirements.
Guidelines and routines for creation and approval of data management plans at NTNU are in constant development. The guidelines might be subject to change, but on these pages you will find updated information.
New, revised guidelines have been sent to the faculties 03.10.2019 for public hearing, see document (in norwegian only).
What is a data management plan (DMP)? #
A DMP is a document describing how data in a research project will be managed, from project start up, throughout the research process and in the time after completion of the project.
A DMP describes what data will be collected or generated. The plan states how the data will be stored, described with metadata, analysed and, if possible, shared. The plan also addresses issues related to rights, privacy and costs.
A DMP is a tool for planning and raising awareness, and should be a "living document" which is updated during the course of the research project.
Why write a DMP? #
Setting up a DMP in the early phases of a research project can help to identify challenges and issues at an early stage. These can be related to information security, documentation, costs and responsibilities.
A good plan for how to organize and describe the data can make the project work more effective by making it easier to understand and work with the data, especially in larger research projects. Good documentation and data management contributes to increased data quality, as well as verifiability and reuse.
According to NTNU's new policy for open research data, all research projects must have a DMP, and in the National strategy on access to and sharing of research data from the Ministry of Education and Research there is a clear expectation that reserach institutions have procedures for approval of data management plans.
Several research funding agencies also have requirements that have to be met by the projects they fund:
- The Research Council of Norway has a policy for Open Access to Research Data, where the standard is that the projects they fund should have a DMP. On the Reseach Council's website, you can read more about their guidelines and what a data management plan could include.
- Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for research and innovation, has as default that new projects should participate in the Open Research Data Pilot (but with a possible opt-out with a justification). Projects participating in the pilot must develop a data management plan within the first 6 months of the project.
How to write a DMP #
The content and scope of a DMP will vary, but there are some topics that should be addressed:
- Data collection, methods
- Description of data, formats, organising, metadata
- Storing, archiving, backup, sharing
- Intellectual rights, licences, privacy, ethics
- Costs, responsibility
Important: If your data includes personal data the project might need specific approvals. It is also necessary to demonstrate compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). More information:
Choosing a tool #
There are several useful online tools and templates which can help you create a DMP. Here are recommendations if you are setting up a DMP at NTNU:
- EU project
- Tool: DMPOnline
- Template: Horizon 2020
- Comment: You have to register your own user. The plan can be shared with others.
- Projects processing personal data
- Tool: NSD
- Template: Choose the standard template
- Comment: Log in using Feide (NTNU-user). The plan can be shared with others. NSD also offers secure archiving of research data and can give advice and guidance related to data colletion and privacy.
- Clinical study
- Contact the Clinical Trial Unit via NorCRIN
- Comment: A designated support service at NTNU/St. Olav
- All other projects: NTNU's standard recommended DMP
- Tool: easy.DMP
- Template: Science Europe
- Comment: Log in using Feide (NTNU-user), choose Dataporten as log in option. The plan can be shared with others.
NTNU has developed a guidance document for the standard recommended DMP (the Science Europe template in the easy.DMP tool). Here you will get advice and guidance when filling out the DMP. Even if you use one of the other templates or tools, this guide might be of use.
Publishing the DMP #
DMP approval and guidance #
NTNU's policy for Open Research Data clarifies the responsibility of each researcher that a DMP needs to be set up for each research project. NTNU shall provide overall guidelines for handling and approval of DMP's at NTNU.
The Research Data @NTNU support service consists of resources from the University Library and the IT department. Research Data @NTNU will offer direct advice and guidance to projects and scientific staff alone or in collaboration with, for example, research advisors.
Research Data @NTNU can help to assess whether a project needs DMP or not, provide advice and guidance when preparing a DMP, and can, if necessary, grant approval on behalf of NTNU. Initially, the system is intended to be trust-based, that is, if the guidance provided is followed.
Useful resources #
Here are some links to different ressources that might be useful when you are writing a data management plan, in addition to some on data mangement in general and other related topics.
- The Library at ETH Zürich also has a guidance for filling out a DMP. Here you can find useful, concrete examples of answers to specific questions in the DMP.
- Expert Tour Guide on Data Management, is an introduction to data management for reseachers developed by a consoritum, the CESSDA ERIC (where NSD is a member). It is focused on social sciences, but there are several parts that are useful for other disciplines as well.
- FOSTER is an e-learning portal for Open Science. Here you can find several useful web courses, including a short introduction to the Horizon 2020 Open Research Pilot and what is required of the participating projects.
- How FAIR are your data? is a check list based on the FAIR Data Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). NTNU adheres to the FAIR principles through the policy for open reseach data.