Research data management planning

Many research funders now require a data management plan (DMP) to be submitted in a grant proposal. Such plans set out how data will be handled during a project and how it will be shared with others. They are an invaluable tool to guide data management and should be amended as necessary as a project progresses.

There is a wealth of information and support about funder requirements and what to include in a DMP, as well as sample plans and tools to guide you through the process of creating your own DMP.

DCC research data management planning training

We have had another brilliant training session from the Digital Curation Centre. Once again the topic was research data management planning but this time looking at costing for RDM. The outline for the session was as follows:

  • Introduction
  • What are Data Management Plans and why are they important?
  • Funders’ policies on data management and eligible costs
  • Q&A Discussion: key issues affecting support provision
  • Data Management Plan Examples
  • Breakout session for discussion the example plans
  • What next? Planning future DMP support

Feedback from participants was excellent and I now have some useful resources to help those creating a research data management plan. I will compile these into a post soon.

Anonymising data

There are a number of really helpful sources of information on anonymising research data for sharing.

The Digital Curation Center

We were very fortunate to have support from Digital Curation Centre (DCC) staff when devising some research data management training sessions, drafting our research data management policy and having a first look at data management planning. They facilitated three sessions to kick-start our research data management activities and these were well received by all in attendance.

We are hoping to arrange another event with the DCC in the autumn and we are looking forward to more enjoyable and rewarding sessions.

Incidentally, the DCC have a wealth of information and support on all matters relating to research data management. Some of my particular favourites at the moment are listed below.

  • Digital curation – if you want to understand what digital curation involves and why it is important take a look at this section of DCC’s website.
  • Data management plans – invaluable resources when writing a data management plan for a project or research funder.
  • Case studieswondering what other people are up to? Check out these cases studies to learn about research data management in action.

RDM training

Feedback from attendees at a recent RDM overview session in the University Library pointed to a few areas of concern:

  • Protecting future research based on data collected in a project.
  • Difficulties in sharing due to confidentiality agreements signed by participants several years ago. Participants can not be contacted retrospectively as the sensitive nature of the research demanded that personal details were not retained.
  • Computer Scientists have practices in place for dealing with data – de-duplication, compression, etc.
  • Requirement for service to support data processing and analysis – High Performance Computing.

These illustrate areas where advice and guidance would be welcomed and where there is a need to raise awareness of existing services. For example, some funders are happy for grant recipients to protect access to their research data so that they can publish the results of their research. EPSRC is one such funder, check out their research data principles ( In addition, we have a High Performance Computing service at Loughborough and researchers can request time on this (