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Initiation of research project

A well developed plan for data management at the start of a research project is a way to ensure a solid structure for research data from the get-go. It gives a reviewable framework to the project, and is a way to prevent the need for unnecessary work in hindsight.

Reasons to prioritise RDM

There are four major reasons that emphasise the importance of managing research data in a well-thought through manner.

  1. Fulfilling laws, ethical guidelines, regulations, requirements and other undertakings regulating the processing of and access to research data.
  2. Making sure that research data is stored in a safe and sustainable way, through a solution that can withstand system failures, tampering or similar issues.
  3. The potential to link results, analyses and conclusions to the related research data is key for the credibility of ones research. To make this feasible, research data must be well-organised and understandable.
  4. It is an advantage if research data produced in a research project can be reused. The likelihood for this increases if the procedures for research data management are well-thought through and if the research data is processed in a way that is interoperable with other systems.

Data management plan – a central element in a project

When applying for funding, many funding bodies require a data management plan (DMP). A DMP can, except for being a part of a funding application, function as a management tool and a framework for the project. A DMP is a way to uphold a structured management of research data during the ongoing project, and to plan for as well as keep a clear perspective on what will happen to the research data after the conclusion of the project.

If the project is collaborative and contains several contributors, it is also a practical means for communication regarding areas such as:

  • the agreed upon work process
  • role distribution within the project
  • ownership of data and data sources and
  • synchronization of data processing.

The DMP is to be seen as a live document. Long-term work of continuously planning and revising a DMP is both a way to ensure good prerequisites for consistent data management during the project, as well as a way to make sure that the project data is prepared for storing and publishing at the end of the project. 

It is an advantage to already from the start consider what information about research data need to be documented in order to be able to register an elaborate, generous and well composed metadata description of the data at the conclusion of the project. The metadata description is key to fulfilling the FAIR principles, something that several external research funders expect of their funded projects.

Setting up a data management plan


Storage, catalogue, repository and archives - what is the difference?

Read more about planning for research data management at the Swedish national data service (SND) homepage:

Manage data (SND)

Questions about data management plans?

Contact the library research data team for advice or a read through of a DMP. We provide feedback, and help answering questions. We can also refer to specialists in other parts of the university and the national infrastructure when needed. SND is also available to help with advice and support.

Contact the library

Contact SND

It is also possible to contact the specialist parts of the university and the national infrastructure for research data management directly:

Organisation and contacts

FAIR data

The FAIR principles are a commonly known tool that, if followed, amount to a way of ensuring a high and consistent quality when working with RDM regarding findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability of research data. Accessibility within the framework of FAIR does not mean that you must make you research data openly accessible to all. However, the degree of accessibility and details on how access to the data can be gained must be clearly communicated by way of the associated metadata. RDM according to the FAIR principles is sometimes required when conducting research projects financed by external funding bodies.

FAIR data

Level of accessibility

SND information resources

The Swedish national data service (SND) provide useful information resources for researchers in research data management and sharing:

Manage data (SND) 

Describe and share data (SND)

Information security, sensitive data and legal aspects of research data

For resources and information about information security, information classification, legal status of research data, personal data processing, GDPR and legal counselling, we recommend contacting the university legal officers, the archive and IT specialists.

More information

Information security (Aurora)
Find more information on secure information management.

Archiving research material (Aurora) 
Including the document "Records management plan – Conducting research”.

Legal aspects in research (Aurora)
Contact details and information about legal aspects of your research. 

ICT Services and System Development (ITS) 
Contact ITS for support in matters concerning IT resources to process and store data during and after a research project. 

From the legal framework

The university legal framework holds the following document relevant to processing research data.

Archives and registry

Research data management plan - conducting research (FS 1.1-962-18)


Research data policy (FS 1.1.-545-21)

Open access policy for scholarly publications at Umeå University (FS 1.1-911-17)

Template data management plan (FS 1.1-2117-19) This template is also integrated into the tool DMPonline.

Premises, IT, environment and security

Information security policy for Umeå University (in Swedish only)
Informationssäkerhetspolicy för Umeå universitet (FS 1.1.1-998-17) 

Phases of research project

Initiation of research project

To get informed, make strategic considerations and set up a data management plan.

During research project

To maintain a sound, ordered and consistent management of research data during the research project.

Conclusion of research project

To conclude a research project with well-founded decisions regarding research data.

Latest update: 2020-09-22