Data Management Checklist for research projects

Research funders increasingly demand Data Management Plans (DMP) to be submitted together with research proposals.

In some parts of EU’s research program Horizon 2020, DMPs will for example be evaluated as part of the impact of a proposal and in the reporting during the course of a funded project. On the web pages of the Digital Curation Office, you can now find a Data Management Checklist (pdf, 281 kB). In this blogpost, we outline its purpose and how to use it.

What is the Data Management Checklist?

The list’s narrower purpose is to support you in the creation of a DMP. The questions in the checklist were collected from existing international guidelines with some adaptions. The sections cover general planning and the phases of the data life-cycle, from data collection and creation through to data sharing and long-term management. Special sections cover documentation and metadata, file formats, storage, ethical and intellectual property issues.

Data Life Cycle_II

Figure 2: Data life cycle according to UK Data Archives

Benefits of sound Data Management

Even if you do not have to produce a formal DMP, we encourage you to use the checklist to examine your or your group’s data management practice: are most issues clear to you and covered to your satisfaction? Or are there any blind spots that are unclear or that you might not specifically have thought about?

Generally, sound Data Management comes with numerous advantages:

  • It greatly facilitates the reuse of research data.
  • As a result, this increases the impact of research results.
  • It saves precious research funds and ultimately your own resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication of work.

Project on Research Data Life-Cycle Management (DLCM)

The Data Management Checklist is one of the first tangible deliverables of the project on Research Data Life-Cycle Management (DLCM) in swissuniversities’ program on scientific information. It was created in close collaboration between the Digital Curation Office at ETH-Bibliothek and the Research Data Team at EPFL Library. It is currently available in English only. The list was designed to meet basic requirements of accessibility for the visually impaired. This limits the possibilities for including any supporting functionality.

Questions regarding the checklist?

For questions on the checklist and on other data management issues, please feel free to contact the team of the Digital Curation Office .

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.

DOI Link: 10.16911/ethz-ib-2418-en

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