As open as possible, as closed as necessary
A separate, obligatory appendix to the application is the data management plan, in which you describe how you manage your research data during the project and make them available after the research project has been completed. Even if your project will not produce data to be stored or if you will use existing, openly available data, you should still append a data management plan to your application. In the appendix, describe your data management as briefly as possible. Answer the questions concisely and where applicable.
Draft the plan according to the structure below. If you want, you can use the data management planning tool DMPTuuli. The structure and contents of the appendix are the same regardless of which method you choose.
More guidelines on the details to be described in the plan are available in DMPTuuli and on the Academy of Finland’s website. Both sources include the same additional guidelines. DMPTuuli also contains university-specific guidelines. The Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) has also drafted its own comprehensive guidelines on and templates for data management plans.
- detailed Academy data management plan guidelines and best practices in DMPTuuli
- Finnish Social Science Data Archive: data management guidelines
- Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman
Structure of data management plan
On the first page of the plan, write the applicant’s (the PI’s) name, research topic and application number. Also remember to date the plan. The plan should not be longer than 1–2 pages. Plans drafted with DMPTuuli are slightly longer than this, because of differences in text layout.
1. General description of data
What types of data (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, measurements) will the project collect or use? The data may be either new data or openly available data. What are the file formats of the data? How will the consistency and quality of data be controlled?
The data content is described in more detail in the research plan.
2. Ethical and legal compliance
How will ethical issues concerning data storage (e.g. sensitive personal information, third-party access to data) be taken into account? How will copyright and IPR issues be managed?
Please note that the ethical issues that concern data collection and research implementation are described in the research plan.
3. Documentation and metadata
How will you document your data to make them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable for you and others? What kinds of metadata standards, README files or other documentation will you use to help others understand and use your data?
4. Storage and backup during the research project
How will the data be stored and backed up during the whole life cycle of the research project (e.g. access to data)?
5. Opening, publishing and archiving the data after the research project
How and when will the data be made available for reuse by other researchers? With what party (data archive, storage service, etc.) will you collaborate to manage the data and make them available? What resources will enable data sharing and long-term preservation?
If the data cannot be made available for reuse, please describe where and how the metadata will be available.
For each of these sections, we have posted the detailed Academy’s guidelines and tips for best practices in DMPTuuli on our website: detailed Academy data management plan guidelines and best practices in DMPTuuli.