Research and other types of scholarly or creative activity generate data. Whether an architect created blueprints and computer-aided renderings, or a biologist collected specimens, both projects generated data. Data management is defined as the organization, storage, access, and preservation of data in its various forms (Henderson, 2016). Data management also includes what will be done with the data once a project is completed and how it may be shared and stored. A researcher undertakes data management planning (DMP) before they begin their project by creating a workflow of how data will be gathered, stored, archived, and sunsetted. DMP also describes the data that will be collected, the software or technology used for its analysis, how it will be gathered, and who has responsibility for its stewardship.
Data management and data management plans are important for many reasons, but the most pressing for researchers has to do with mandates. Many federal grant proposals require a data management and sharing plan. In addition, increasing numbers of journals are either encouraging or requiring researchers to share their research data for manuscripts selected for publication.
Data Management Among Disciplines. For general tips and considerations on managing and sharing data, refer to an authoritative style, writing or research guide within your subject area; see a list in the Citations Research Guide or search the FAU Library Catalog. For example, psychology and social science fields that use the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association can refer to its chapter on APA's recommendations for data management. The current AMA Manual of Style for medicine provides some background and guidance in their section on ethical and legal considerations.
Source: Henderson, M. E. (2016). Data management: A practical guide for librarians. Rowman & Littlefield.
Related Research Guides and Web Pages
Metadata Standards and Technical Aspects
Data Management Training
Data Management in Higher Education
In order to promote open access to research data, many U.S. funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require researchers to supply detailed plans called data management plans for managing their research data. Data management is the systematic organization and planning for data throughout the research cycle. and a Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data and how it will be made accessible throughout its lifetime.
Benefits of a Data Management Plan
What is in a data management plan?
Source: Florida Institute of Technology, Evans Library; Used with permission.
Data Sources from the Federal Government
Federal Policies and Recommendations
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) data sharing requirements policy takes effect for NIH grant applications, proposals for contracts, Intramural Research Projects, or other funding agreements received or done on or after January 25, 2023. See their notices for official policies with specifications.