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Research Data Management: Getting Started

Information for researchers on data management.

Why Manage Your Data?

Why Is Data Management Planning Important?

Data Management is an integral part of the research process. Before starting a new study, researchers should make explicit plans for managing their data. By managing your data properly you can:

  • Meet funder requirements for data management plans and data sharing
  • Maintain data integrity by ensuring that research data are accurate, complete, and reliable
  • Save time by preventing duplication of effort and increasing research efficiency
  • Enhance data security and minimize risk of data loss
  • Increase your research impact by ensuring that your data will be accessible and usable by others
  • Help address the reproducibility crisis by promoting transparency in research processes

"Good data management planning & documentation is a love letter to your future self." (apocryphal)

DMP Tool

The DMPTool provides online templates researchers can use to create data management plans. Create a free personal account and then use a generic template or one attributed to federal and nonprofit agency funders. 


Some of the materials in this guide have been adapted from similar pages hosted by Cornell, the University of Minnesota, and Virginia Tech.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Data Lifecycle

Research projects in any discipline may generate data. Research Data Management is the application of best practices in the planning, collection, organization, documentation, and dissemination of data. You may need a Data Management Plan to meet funder requirements, but good data management practices are a boon to research quality and productivity regardless of funding.

Data Lifecycle

Data Management Horror Story

Illustrates many data management problems in a droll, short (4:40) cartoon video.


I'll be very happy to meet with you regarding:

  • writing your Data Management Plan for federal grants
  • developing metadata and codebooks for your data sets
  • figuring out the best places to deposit your data for public access

Please contact me using the information below.

Academic Services Librarian

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Jim Kelly
O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library | LIB 115