The Research Data Management Plan (RDMP)

Data Management and Bio-Statistical Support

“A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)

Where should you start with your research project - start with a plan of course! Planning process should prompt the planner to think carefully about aspects of your project early in the project life cycle.  Time invested at the start of a research project to put in place robust, easy-to-use data management procedures should pay off several times over in the later stages of the project.

Why an RDMP?

  • The biggest source of error is poor planning.

  • Poor planning affects sampling and  non-sampling errors

  • Non-sampling error is usually poorly understood, occurs in every data collection, has multiple sources/every stage and cannot be measured. Sources of non-sampling error include:

    • Coverage error
    • Non-response error
    • Measurement error
    • Data Handling

A RDMP will

  • Make designing and running your research projects easier, cheaper and faster.

  • Contribute to reducing non-sampling error

  • Form part of the documentation of project information and can be an invaluable resource to later members of the project team and to other researchers that wish to reuse/share your data post project completion.

  • Reduce catastrophes such as loss of data or privacy and confidentiality breaches

A research data management plan allows you to document your strategy for managing your research data. It reflects your data management decisions and can also be used to record questions and items for action. It's a working document and can be updated as your project develops and your data management strategy is refined.

If you are working in a team, a data management plan can be used to document individual responsibilities and make sure everyone has a shared understanding. It is also a useful document for reporting to funding bodies.

Creating a data management plan can help you better prepare for your research at the beginning of a project, but it's never too late in the research lifecycle to document a plan.

The template will guide your research data management needs and provide resources to create a data management plan that documents your strategies. The template provides a step by step approach that will make planning and organising your research project and data management much easier. Good luck! Contact the SLHD Research Data Manager for a RDMP template


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Page Last Updated: 27 November, 2019