Research Data Management (RDM) is the management of research data in a research project, which should take into account the FAIR Principles. A high standard of research data management is fundamental to high quality research and academic integrity. There are requirements related to research data, software and other outputs generated and used in research projects expected by funding agencies. There may be different funders’ requirements for research data throughout the project.
For funded projects you will need to produce a data management plan (DMP). In this DMP you need to tell the story of the research data for your project. This could be the data that you generate, or the data you have sourced from elsewhere. How do you intend to use, manage, share and develop that data throughout the research project?
Funders want to know how you will protect and preserve the data during the project and for the future. If you intend to publish or make research data available, perhaps in a data repository (e.g. Xenodo) you need to describe this also.
Many ethical and legal requirements may apply to your research data. You may need to describe the data to the Ethics Committee in ethics applications, have a conversation with the Legal Team about GDPR and protection of data, and/or with PAKTTO regarding the value of data, and perhaps with IT regarding the storage of complex data.
If you have any questions regards RDM, please submit these to email@example.com
DMPonline is an online tool to help you write a DMP. We also developed a University Pilot DMP template with guidance notes, which you can access in DMPonline. DMPonline also contains most funders’ templates and guidance notes. We welcome your feedback on these tools during 2023.
University Pilot DMP Template
The University Pilot DMP template is a generic template that you can use for most funded projects. It’s available in DMPonline. Just check the box that says ‘No funder associated with this plan’ and you will be directed to the University Pilot DMP template. This template contains guidance notes and tips for writing the DMP.
To prepare to write your DMP, you can download the University Pilot DMP template (which will become available at the end of September 2023) to see what types of questions are asked and what you can do to prepare answers.
Once you have written your DMP, it should be peer-reviewed by a more experienced researcher in your department, or the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project and you can ask for help of your Research Facilitator(s). Direct any specific questions about RDM or DMPs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first time you use DMPonline, create a username and password. (In due course we will develop the login using University credentials, do not use that feature for now.)
Many funders now require researchers to create a DMP as part of grant applications, and update it throughout the project. It is good practice to write a DMP for each project even if it is not publicly funded as you will need to think about your research data and the FAIR Principles throughout your project, and when you liaise with the Ethics Committee for your ethics applications, or the Legal team, where sensitive data or GDPR applies.
A DMP should be an evolving document in which information can be added as the project progresses, and when significant changes occur. It is good practice to establish a schedule for reviewing and updating a DMP in combination with project events e.g. funding approval, periodic reviews etc.
Be explicit in your consent forms about your plans to make data available, who will be able to access the data, and how the data would be accessed and potentially re-used. Consider that a DMP describes a story of your data; where you have sourced them, what they are, how you intend to use them, who will use them, where you may store them, who can access them, who you will share the final data with, how you intend to publish the data, and where they will be archived.
Data protection and ethics
Ethical guidelines issued by funders and the University cover how you can create, store, share and archive data concerning human subjects. In addition, laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), govern the processing of personal data.
Sensitive research data can sometimes be shared legally and ethically by using informed consent, anonymisation and controlled access. In order to do this, it is important to consider potential data sharing and re-use scenarios well before the ethics process and data collection. You will also consider this when you write your Ethics application and seek approval from the Data Protection Officer at the University.
Research ethics guidance is provided by the University’s Ethics Review Panel (ERP).
Any guidance with regards to legal requirements, data protection or GDPR is provided by the University’s Data Protection Office.
If you have data or a research output of social, environmental or commercial value, with intellectual property attached, or partnerships with industry or civil society, also contact the Office for Partnership, Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the University.
The Luxembourg Learning Centre offers support and training for using DMPonline, and support in relation to Open Science, Open Access publishing, and research discovery. Questions can be sent to email@example.com
ELIXIR Luxembourg offers training in data management.
Any question about a funded project, or research standards and requirements, contact the Research Support Department.
Here is a list of further resources that may be useful to you.
All the links are external: