The effective management of research data is an important component of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
Good practice in data management is required to maintain reliable and accurate data throughout the data's lifecycle. Good data management will also facilitate data re-use after completion of the project and enable others to replicate research outcomes into the future
From February 2014 the Australian Research Council (ARC) has introduced the requirement for funding applications for National Competitive Grants (Discovery; Linkage) to provide an outline of your data management plan. The outline should describe your plans for the management of data produced as a result of the proposed research, including but not limited to
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Please note however that while the ARC strongly encourage the sharing of data, the changes to the funding rules are not mandating open data.
A Data Management Plan is a formal document you create at the start of your project which describes all aspects of your data.
It allows you to document your strategy for managing your research data. It reflects your data management decisions and can also be used to record questions and items for action. It's a living document and can be updated as your project develops and your data management strategy is refined.
If you are working in a team, a data management plan can be used to document individual responsibilities and make sure everyone has a shared understanding. It is also a useful document for reporting to funding bodies.
Creating a data management plan can help you better prepare for your research at the beginning of a project, but it's never too late in the research lifecycle to document a plan.
The main components of a data management plan:
The University of Adelaide have created a good example of a Data Management Plan template