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Data Management

Funding bodies like the National Science Foundation (NSF) now require that researchers supplement their grant proposals with a Data Management Plan (DMP). DMPs are short, formal documents that outline, at the onset of a new project, how you will handle your data both during your research and after the project is completed. They help to ensure that, in the present, your data are collected and analyzed in an intelligent and sustainable way, and that your data are able to be shared and preserved for future use and re-use.

Why is Data Management Planning Important?

A diagram of the research data life cycle, comprised of creating data, processing data, analyzing data, preserving data, giving access to data and re-using data.

The data life cycle diagram is provided by the UK Data Service. For more information and resources, see http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/manage-data/lifecycle

Data often have a longer lifespan than the research project that creates them. Researchers may continue to work on data after funding has ceased, follow-up projects may analyze or add to the data and data may be re-used by other researchers. Well organized, well documented, preserved and shared data are invaluable to advance scientific inquiry and to increase opportunities for learning and innovation.

Even if you aren't writing a formal DMP to fulfill a grant requirement, some of the benefits of good data management and sharing practices include:

  • Saving time in the long run
  • Allowing you to focus on your research rather than user requests
  • Ensuring that others can understand your data
  • Making sharing/preserving data easier
  • Helping to avoid data loss in the event of a disaster or user error
  • Letting your work live into the future

More Information and Next Steps

GVSU has partnered with the California Digital Library to help you write your DMP. DMPTool provides customized help for researchers at GVSU, as well as directorate-specific suggested answers to questions asked by funding agencies. Click to login and create a DMP:

Create a DMP using DMPTool More on Research Data Management

University Libraries

Contact the University Libraries for help sharing your data, writing a DMP, or for help with data management generally.

Cara Cadena
Head of Collections

Phone: (616) 331-7337

Email Cara Cadena

Sponsored Programs

Contact the OSP for help with externally sponsored agreements for scholarly research and creative activity.

Michael Gouin-Hart
Director of Office of Sponsored Programs

Phone: (616) 331-6868

E-mail Michael Goulin-Hart

Need a break? Take a look at "My Data Management Plan - a satire."

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