Research Data Management
Research data management is a collective term for the planning, collecting, processing, sharing, storing and archiving of research data. Good research data management will facilitate transparency and trustworthiness in research and is therefore a priority at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND).
The research data lifecycle, depicting the various phases of research data management.
Good research data management will become increasingly important for researchers
- An increasing number of funding agencies ask for open access to data sets, as well as for Data Management Plans (DMPs) as part of funding applications.
- Many scientific journals require open access to data sets underlying publications.
- EU and Danish legislations and regulations for projects with personal data are changing, with stricter policies and bigger penalties when these policies are not followed.
- The growing quantities of digital data, as well as the increasing needs for the reuse of data, require better infrastructure and procedures for storage and security of data.
Research data management at SUND
A policy for research data management
In response to the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, as well the Rector’s policy for data management, SUND published a Faculty specific policy for research data management in April 2016. This policy describes what is expected of researchers and students working at the Faculty and provides tools for, and guidance in, research data management. It can be found in the right hand panel of this page.
Electronic Laboratory Notebooks
The Faculty is currently examining whether Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) could be tools for good data management. ELNs are computer programs designed to replace paper notebooks. Besides recording research projects, ELNs can facilitate protocol and information sharing within research groups, allow searches in past research projects and can keep track of sample and consumable locations.
Data management plans (DMPs)
Data management plans are documents in which researchers can describe what actions they will undertake to manage their research material and data during and after a research project. DMPs are typically drawn up before data collection starts and are increasingly becoming required components in funding proposals or funded projects. For example, the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 will require a DMP to be submitted as a deliverable in all funded projects from the start of 2017 onwards, unless researchers actively opt-out.
To give researchers an idea of the content of a DMP, SUND developed its own DMP template that can be downloaded from the panel on the right. Researchers and students can use this DMP template as a tool for exploring and planning their data management activities. It can also be used for funding proposals, unless funders have their own DMP requirements or templates.
Collaborations with other projects on research data management
In order to follow and coordinate developments in research data management at the University and national level, SUND representatives:
- participate in the University of Copenhagen’s reference group for data management.
participate in the National Forum for Research Data Management, on behalf of the University of Copenhagen.
Further reading on research data management
More information about research data management can be found in Chapter 5 of the recent book ‘RCR – A Danish textbook for courses in Responsible Conduct of Research’used as teaching material for PhD students and supervisors at SUND. The chapter details data management considerations, gives some concrete examples of how a data management plan could be filled in, and provides advice for researchers working at SUND.