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Mastering Data Management Plans: 5 Tips for EU Projects

Data management plans (DMPs) are essential for any research and innovation project that involves multiple partners working with data and stakeholders. At TITAN we are currently finalising our first plan which outlines the strategies that we will use to manage and share data during and after the project. By creating a comprehensive DMP, our stakeholders can ensure that we are collecting and managing their data in a way that is transparent, ethical, and sustainable.

Person staring thoughtfully at computer screens showing  data analysis  visualisations.

Why are DMPs useful?

DMPs are useful for several reasons. Firstly, they promote good research practice by ensuring that all data that comes into, or is generated by TITAN, is managed effectively and responsibly. Secondly, they help to avoid data loss or duplication by ensuring that all partners are working towards the same goals. Thirdly, they can help to ensure that data is accessible and reusable by others after the project is completed. Finally, they help to ensure compliance with National and EU policies and requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Articfical Intelligence (AI) Act.


What should a DMP contain?

A DMP should be tailored to the specific needs of the project, but typically includes the following components:

  • Project description: A brief description of the project and the data that will be collected.

  • Data management responsibilities: A list of the roles and responsibilities of each partner in the management of the data.

  • Data management procedures: A description of the procedures that will be used to collect, store, manage, and share the data, including any security or confidentiality measures.

  • Data documentation: A description of the metadata and documentation that will be created to ensure that the data is understandable and reusable by others.

  • Data sharing and reuse: A description of the plans for sharing and reusing the data, including any data sharing agreements that may need to be established.

  • Preservation and long-term access: A description of the plans for preserving and providing long-term access to the data, including any requirements for data archiving or deposition.

Common mistakes when writing a DMP

There are several common mistakes that researchers make when writing a DMP:

  • Lack of specificity: DMPs should be specific to the project and should not be generic templates.

  • Overlooking ethical considerations: Researchers should consider ethical considerations when creating a DMP, including issues related to data sharing, privacy, and informed consent.

  • Failure to involve all partners: All partners should be involved in the creation of the DMP to ensure that it reflects the needs and interests of all stakeholders.

  • Failure to revise and update the DMP: DMPs should be living documents that are regularly updated and revised throughout the course of the project.

5 Data Management Plan tips for success

To create a successful DMP, researchers should:

  1. Start early: It's important to start creating a DMP at the beginning of the project, as it can take time to gather the necessary information and input from all partners.

  2. Involve all partners: All partners should be involved in the creation of the DMP to ensure that it reflects the needs and interests of all stakeholders.

  3. Be clear and concise: The DMP should be clear and concise, and written in language that is easily understandable to all stakeholders.

  4. Consider ethical considerations: Ethical considerations should be carefully considered when creating the DMP, including issues related to data sharing and informed consent.

  5. Revise and update regularly: DMPs should be living documents that are regularly updated and revised throughout the course of the project.

DMPs are essential for any research project involving multiple partners. By creating a comprehensive DMP, researchers can ensure that they are collecting and managing their data in a way that is transparent, ethical, and sustainable. By avoiding common mistakes and following the tips for success, TITAN, and indeed all EU projects can create a DMP that meets the needs of all stakeholders and ensures the success of the project.

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