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Data Management Checklist

Data Management Checklist

A data management checklist is a way for a librarian to record all of the information necessary to create a successful data management plan. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides the following checklist of questions that their librarians ask researchers when preparing a data management plan:

  1. What type of data will be produced? Will it be reproducible? What would happen if it got lost or became unusable later?
  2. How much data will it be, and at what growth rate? How often will it change?
  3. Who will use it now, and later?
  4. Who controls it (PI, student, lab, Academic Institution, funder)?
  5. How long should it be retained? e.g. 3-5 years, 10-20 years, permanently
  6. Are there tools or software needed to create/process/visualize the data?
  7. Any special privacy or security requirements? e.g., personal data, high-security data
  8. Any sharing requirements? e.g., funder data sharing policy
  9. Any other funder requirements? e.g., data management plan in proposal
  10. If there are co-PIs in a grant proposal, which one is responsible for the data management plan and its implementation?
  11. Is there good project and data documentation?
  12. What directory and file naming convention will be used?
  13. What project and data identifiers will be assigned?
  14. What file formats? Are they long-lived?
  15. Storage and backup strategy?
  16. When will I publish it and where?
  17. Is there an ontology or other community standard for data sharing/integration?
  18. Who in the research group will be responsible for data management?

There are many other data management checklists available – libraries create data management checklists that best represent the culture of their own institution.