About Data Management Plans

According to the University's Research Data and Primary Materials Policy, all research projects for which the lead researcher is affiliated with the University of Adelaide require a data management plan. This applies whether the research is grant, contract or internally funded. Completing a data management plan is also a requirement for Higher Degree by Research students.

Why submit a data management plan?

Having a data management plan allows you to:

  • plan and document your strategy for managing data in your research project
  • review your data management decisions
  • record questions and items for action, and collaborate with colleagues.

If you are working in a team, a data management plan can be used to document individual responsibilities and make sure everyone has a shared understanding of them.

Creating a data management plan can help you better prepare for your research at the beginning of a project, but it's never too late in the research lifecycle to document a plan.

It is also a useful document for reporting to funding bodies.

In the case of externally-funded projects, funding may not be released until a data management plan is formally submitted.

Who needs to complete a data management plan?

The University’s Research Data Management and Primary Materials policy indicates that each research project should nominate a Data Steward. Unless another nomination is made, this is the Lead Chief Investigator (or the first-named University of Adelaide researcher). The Data Steward is responsible for management (curation, recording, storage and disposal) of research data and primary materials associated with the project, and needs to complete the data management plan. The Data Steward Competency Framework provides an overview of what the Data Steward needs to do, where they can get support within the University, and tools that may help achieve good data management.

All HDR students, in conjunction with their University of Adelaide supervisor, are required to complete a data management plan within six months of commencing their research project. They will also need to submit a final data management plan when they submit their thesis.