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