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How to create a data management plan

A template data management plan should be a core part of any organisation that is then cascaded down through its entirety.

Here, we discuss the process of creating a data management plan. A template data management plan should be a core part of any organisation that is then cascaded down through its entirety.

The data management plan will take into consideration all the data management principles you have as an organisation. It will cover:

Data collection

  • How will you collect or generate data?
  • How will you structure and name your folders and files?
  • How will you handle versioning?
  • What quality assurance processes will you adopt?

Documentation and metadata

  • What information is needed for the data to be to be read and interpreted in the future?
  • How will you capture / create this documentation and metadata?
  • Have you gained consent for data preservation and sharing?
  • How will you protect the identity of participants if required? e.g. via anonymization
  • How will sensitive data be handled to ensure it is stored and transferred securely?

Storage and backup

  • Will data be stored on the University network?
  • How will data be transferred to the University network if it originates from another location?
  • How will you ensure that collaborators, supervisors, or participants can access your data securely?
  • Will data be stored on H:drive, i:drive, StrathCloud, or elsewhere?

Data curation and open access to data

  • What data must be retained/destroyed for contractual, legal, or regulatory purposes?
  • How will you decide what other data to keep?
  • What data will be shared openly?
  • When will you make the data available?
  • How will data be preserved and shared?
  • How will completed datasets be organised?

Responsibilities and resources

  • Who is responsible for implementing the plan, and ensuring it is reviewed and revised?
  • Who will be responsible for each data management activity?
  • How will responsibilities be split across partner sites in collaborative research projects?
  • Will data ownership and responsibilities for RDM be part of any consortium agreement or contract agreed between partners?
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The Power of Data in Health and Social Care

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