Data Management Plan: How do I complete the DMP section in my FWO application?

Data management planning as part of FWO policy

As of 2018, the FWO has made Research Data Management (RDM) a key element of its policy for all support channels. This entails new requirements for researchers regarding data management planning (see the UGent RDM webpages for more details on FWO policy).

  • Importantly, prospective project supervisors (from 2018) and pre-/postdoctoral fellows (from 2020) will have to complete a short “Data Management Plan” (DMP) section in the FWO electronic application form.

DMP section in the FWO application form

The DMP section in the FWO application form consists of 5 RDM-related questions that applicants are expected to answer in a concise manner. Below, you can find an overview of the questions along with some guidance to help you draft your response. 

  • Keep in mind that in the context of RDM, “research data” is a very broad concept, encompassing any information that is collected/created and subsequently analysed with the aim of generating scientific claims. In other words, research data are not limited to numerical data in spreadsheets, but can take many other forms as well (including e.g. textual, audiovisual or multimedia data, in the form of databases, images, maps, audio recordings, (un)structured text files..., and resulting from experiments, observations, simulations, or compiled/derived from other sources). 

Questions & guidance

1. Describe the datatypes (surveys, sequences, manuscripts, objects…) the research will collect and/or generate and/or (re)use. (max. 700 characters)

When answering this question, include information about the following:

  • will you reuse existing data, generate new data, or do both?
  • will you be working with personal data (= any information relating to an identified/identifiable natural person)?
  • make a list of all data types (interviews, samples, observations, manuscripts, experiments, models…) that you will presumably be using during the project. Also provide information on data formats (e.g. .txt, .csv …).
  • if possible, estimate the expected total volume of data (e.g. in KB/MB/GB/TB…); this will be indicative of whether you will need a budget for data storage or preservation.

If you expect that your project will not use/generate any research data (in which case you can skip questions 2-5), explain here why that is the case. 

2. Are the following provisions in place in order to preserve the data for at least 5 years after the end of the research? Please motivate your answer. (max. 700 characters)

a. Designation of responsible person (if already designated, please fill in his/her name)

FWO expects relevant research data to be preserved for a minimum term of 5 years beyond the end of the research. Who is the person responsible for data preservation (if known already)? In case the FWO wants to contact someone with questions regarding the long-term preservation of the data, who can be contacted?

b. Storage capacity/repository (during/after the research)

Is sufficient storage capacity guaranteed during and after the research project? In view of the type, format and estimated volume of the data, will you be able to guarantee safe and secure storage during the project and for at least 5 years beyond the end of the project? It is good practice to already mention where data will be kept (and who will have access to them). 

You can also do more than passively archive the data, and opt to share/publish them (if appropriate given the nature of the data). Best practice here is to make use of established, trusted resources listed in re3data.org or FAIRsharing.org, such as:

  

When answering this part of the DMP section in the FWO application form, keep in mind that not all data should or can be kept (indefinitely) beyond the lifetime of a project. Data to keep include:

  • data that you are legally obliged to keep
  • data crucial for the verification of research results
  • data that cannot be re-created
  • data obtained at great cost of time & money
  • data with great potential re-use value, incl. for your own research unit
  • data with great scientific, historical or cultural significance

3. Is there a reason why you wish to deviate from the principle of preservation of data and of the minimum preservation term of 5 years? (max. 700 characters)

In case keeping (some of) the data for at least 5 years after the end of the research is not possible, explain why this is so. Reasons could include:

  • legal/ethical restrictions (e.g. research participants have not given informed consent for archiving personal data)
  • contractual restrictions (e.g. when you re-use data from a third party, the latter may not allow you to keep the data beyond the project’s lifetime)
  • practical obstacles  

4. If issues concerning research data are indicated in the ethics questionnaire of this application form, will those data require specific security measures; if yes, can they be put in place? (max. 700 characters)

For all projects that work with personal data, human participants, animals, or data with dual use/misuse potential (i.e. data that could be used maliciously for military, criminal or terrorism purposes) this section should receive an answer.

To all personal or otherwise sensitive data (e.g. data from research with dual use potential, data that - if disclosed - could cause harm to endangered species, to vulnerable sites or groups, to public health and safety, etc.) stringent security measures relating to storage and access apply. Provide a short description of how this can be guaranteed by the project/the host institution. 

Ghent University researchers can, for example, refer to the institutional information security policies, and document specific security measures. 

5. Are there other issues related to the data management you think relevant to mention? (max. 700 characters)

FWO is eager to receive feedback to update its guidance or Research Data Management policy.

  

More information

For more information on Research Data Management, also see Ghent University's RDM webpages.

Source reference

Information on the webpages of FWO: http://www.fwo.be/en/the-fwo/organisation/data-management-plan/

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Last modified March 16, 2021, 3:06 p.m.