Data Management Academy, part 1. Why is planning important?

The data management plan is a technical document describing the principles for processing the data used in the study.  Its aim is to document the processing of the data in such a way that the research data that requires protection remains safe throughout the research project.

The aim of the plan is also to consider the requirements of open science and to ensure that the data produced in the research project is available for other studies as well.  On the other hand, there may be obstacles related data sharing, such as agreements, legislation, or research ethics. It is essential to describe these obstacles in the data management plan.

The plan complements the research plan with technical details and practical solutions that is not possible to describe in the research plan. The more accurately the processing of the data is described, the more useful the plan will be. As we know, plans tend to change as the project progresses. Therefore, it is important that the plan is updated during the project.

Writing a plan can be the responsibility of an individual project team member. However, it is essential that all research group members are committed to following the plan and act together in accordance with the agreed data management principles.

This writing is part of a seven-part series of stories in which we delve into different parts of the data management plan. The writings are based on the structure of the national data management plan, which the Academy of Finland also follows in its funding applications. In the following post, we discuss the general description of the data and the quality of the data.