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Research Data Management: Create a plan

UofA Data management plan template

  • Researchers - Attach your Data Management Plan in PDF format to the Research Funding Acceptance Form (RFA) in Research Master
  • Research students - DMPS are only required if you commenced your research canditature in January 2016 or later. Send your Data Management Plan in PDF format to the Graduate Centre along with your Research Proposal at the six-month stage, and send your final plan to the Graduate Centre at the end of your candidature

Please note: Please note: From November 2016, Research Services has advised all successful grant recipients that they will need to attach a Data Management Plan to the Research Funding Acceptance (RFA) e-form in Research Master. This will count as having submitted the form.

If you are unsure about your answers to the questions, discuss with your supervisor or colleagues, check the other pages in this guide or complete the online course Managing your Research Data. 

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Managing your Research Data Course

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Managing your Research Data

Managing your Research Data is a comprehensive online course to help you with preparing, organising, analysing, keeping and sharing your digital research data . The module is designed primarily for research students, and parts will also be useful for research supervisors and researchers new to the University.  

The course attracts 2 CaRST points once HDRs complete it and upload a Data Management Worksheet. The worksheet forms the basis of your Data Management Plan which is due at 6 months and at completion of your candidature. You can enrol directly or via the CaRST website.

You can also book into a face to face session called Preparing Your Research Data Management Plan if you would like further help in completing your Plan. Prerequisite: Completion of the online module and uploading of the worksheet.

Why should I create a data management plan?

The University's Research Data and Primary Materials Policy requires staff with external or internal funding to create Data Management Plans, and where the funding is external, to lodge the plan in the University's online Data Management Plan portal (under development in 2017).

Higher Degree by Research students must submit a Research Data Management Plan at 6 months, and on final thesis submission.

A data management plan allows you to document your strategy for managing your research data. It reflects your data management decisions and can also be used to record questions and items for action. It's a living document and can be updated as your project develops and your data management strategy is refined.

If you are working in a team, a data management plan can be used to document individual responsibilities and make sure everyone has a shared understanding. It is also a useful document for reporting to funding bodies.

Creating a data management plan can help you better prepare for your research at the beginning of a project, but it's never too late in the research lifecycle to document a plan.

Agreement to publish

Are you generating research data in collaboration with others?

If you plan to publish your research data, for example by depositing the data in a public repository, you will need to ensure that have agreement from your collaborators to do so.

The document below is a sample letter template that can be used to outline plans and obtain agreement from collaborators to publish data. It is a generic letter that may not be suitable for all situations. The document can be downloaded and adapted to your specific situation as required.

Other data management plans

There are many different formats for a data management plan. It may be useful to look at the following different examples.