Data management plan


Research data is material that is collected or created in a research project to be used as a basis for analyzes and validation of research results.

Research data can also be collected or created in a research infrastructure used for research. The data can consist of both analog and digital information and digital data can consist of everything from measurement results and observations to data code, images and sound files.

The international FAIR principles mean that research data or information about research data (metadata) is handled in a way that makes research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. In recent years, the FAIR principles have had a strong impact and has become the guiding principle for good data management and open access to research data. All research data cannot be fully openly accessible, for example, the protection of personal data and copyright must be taken into account. This is clarified by a motto often used in the context; "As open as possible, as closed as necessary".

Data management refers to how research data is handled, organized and structured throughout the project. In order to simplify the work on data management at the start of the project, a data management plan (DMP) can be created. A DMP is a formal document that provides a framework for what will happen to the data during and after the research project is finished. The content of the data management plan depends on the research area, the type of data and in what phase of the research process the project is in. Management of the data material develops over time in response to changes and new situations that arise during the course of the project.

Thus, a DMP acts as a "living" document that changes over time, throughout the project. For the individual researcher, research group or infrastructure manager, a DMP is an effective way to gain control of how the material is handled, stored and retrieved and what costs may be associated with it. Furthermore, a DMP is useful for ensuring that the project complies with applicable regulations, legal and ethical aspects, and is prepared for archiving at the end of the project. A DMP may look slightly different depending on the subject area, the type of data and any specific requirements from research funders. A DMP focuses only on the management of digital data.

Internationally, many funders require a DMP as part of the application and decision process. A number of research funders have recommendations and, in some cases, requirements for a DMP, also in Sweden.

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) ) has requirements for data management plans for two support forms;: RJ Project and RJ Infrastructure for research. Please see the respective call text to see what applies for each form of support with regard to the data management plan.

Support when writing a data management plan

  • Virtually all HEIs offer both information and support and advice to affiliated researchers on data management in research projects. Where this support function is placed varies between the institutions, it is often found centrally, at the university library or within the central research support.
  • The Swedish National Data Service (SND) also offers support and advice on questions regarding data management and data management plans, they have for example produced a checklist that can be used as support when filling in your DMP. Projects handling data from the cultural heritage sector may also turn to the collaboration platform Digisam.
  • Anyone who does not receive answers to their questions through their HEI or SND is welcome to contact RJ,