Digital Education Resources - Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Lab

Data Management Planning Resources

Think About Data Sharing Early On

Thinking about data management for a research project should begin before data are collected. This is the time to consider whether a dataset produced by a project will be eligible for publication, and what steps will need to be taken to make it publishable. As the Digital Curation Center argues,

“Decisions about data sharing and preservation need to be considered from the outset. If researchers plan to deposit in a data centre, they should check whether there are preferred formats for deposit. Similarly, consent agreements should cover options to share the data at the end of the project if this is planned.”

Digital Curation Center. (2013). Research Data Management for Librarians Handbook.

Data Management During a Research Project

In the article Nine simple ways to make it easier to (re)use your data, the authors describe good practices for making a dataset easy to reuse. Although they are writing for an audience in ecology and evolutionary biology, many of their recommendations are relevant to a broad range of data types and research disciplines. They discuss best practices for each of these steps:

  1. Share your data
  2. Provide metadata
  3. Provide an unprocessed form of the data
  4. Use standard data formats
  5. Use good null values
  6. Make it easy to combine your data with other datasets
  7. Perform basic quality control
  8. Use an established repository
  9. Use an established and open license

White EP, Baldridge E, Brym ZT, Locey KJ, McGlinn DJ, et al. (2013). Nine simple ways to make it easier to (re)use your data. PeerJ PrePrints 1: e7v2


Data Management Plan Tool (DMP Tool)

Create a two page data management plan to include in your next grant application with the Data Management Plan Tool (DMPTool). The tool will walk you through a series of questions that the DMP must address, customized to the requirements of the funder. The DMPTool provides guidance in answering those questions, and creates an exportable data management plan based on your responses. When you log in and select Vanderbilt as your institution, the tool will use your VUnetID to create an account for you.

Go to the DMP Tool

External resources

Duke University Libraries Online Learning - Data Management Tutorials

Revised 2022-10-11

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License: CC BY 4.0.
Credit: "Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Lab -"