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?
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:
Contact the University Libraries for help sharing your data, writing a DMP, or for help with data management generally.
Head of Collections
Phone: (616) 331-7337
Contact Information Technology for IT related policies and guidelines, especially during data collection.
Director of Information Technology
Phone: (616) 331-2035
Contact the OSP for help with externally sponsored agreements for scholarly research and creative activity.
Director of Office of Sponsored Programs
Phone: (616) 331-6868