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Research Data Management: Introduction to Research Data Management

Research data applies to all disciplines and can be defined as anything that has been created or gathered that helps you to answer your research question (NEH, 2018), regardless of whether it is in a physical or digital format (RCUK, 2016).


A Data Management Plan [DMP] is a plan of how you will collect, manage, store, use, contextualise and preserve your research data. A DMP will not only help you to ensure General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance, but will also provide clarity around issues, such as ownership of data and help you to recover data after a loss, or even prevent the loss from occurring. Research data is a valuable asset and many funders and publishers require data to be made open or shared, so writing a good data management plan and reviewing it regularly will enable researchers to comply with these requirements.


For more information on the University of Plymouth Research Data Management Policy, please click here.

Data Management Planning

The main considerations to explore when completing a Data Management Plan are detailed below with guidance and signposting to further resources:


data ownership, ethics and legislation

Data Collection

Documentation and metadata

Storage and backup

Selection, preservation and sharing

Excellent RDM primers

There are some really good basic training courses and resources out there that can help you begin to navigate what good research data management might look like for your project. We have included a few of them below.