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What is research data management

Why manage research data

In your research you may collect/create new data or reuse existing data. Because your results and conclusions will be based on it, this data is of crucial importance to your research.  Responsible management of this data is part of doing good research. 

Make a data management plan (DMP)

Some of the things you will need to document are: what type of data was collected and how; how will it be stored and managed during the project; who will have access to the data and how will you manage the access;  where will it be archived in the long term and who will have access and under what conditions once your research has been completed. You also need to make sure that you and others will understand the data, even years after your research is finished. To enable this, you need to document exactly what you did with your data every step of the way and other relevant information such as which software and syntax you used for analysis. You can document all these things in a Data Management Plan (DMP).

Objectives of a DMP

By making a DMP at the beginning of your research, and supplementing it or amending it as your research progresses, it will save you time in the long run and reduce the risk of nasty surprises later on such as losing your data or overwriting it. Making such a plan will also help you to comply with institutional rules and regulations and legal constraints and make you aware of other things which you may need to plan for things such as resources for storage, or specific software. Most importantly, this plan will contain all the relevant information necessary for others to reproduce your research, verify it and enable your data to be reusable in the future.

Planning your research and preparing a Research Data Management Plan

In the planning phase of a research project, data management includes composing a Data Management Plan (DMP). It is recommended that all PhD students and researchers at the UMCG and University of Groningen make a DMP. Most funders (ZonMW, NWO, Horizon2020) also require DMPs as part of research project applications and these funders all have their own DMP-templates. The UMCG-DMP template, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for making managing data in the UMCG and funder DMP-templates can all be found in the UMCG Research Toolbox.

UMCG Research Toolbox

For every new research project, please go to Research Toolbox on the UMCG intranet, developed by and for researchers. This tool provides researchers with checklists for every phase of their research so they know exactly what steps to take and can abide by all the necessary rules and regulations for their specific area of research. Use the button 'Tools for Research' and navigate through the decision tree. You will be able to save the study overview document, digitally or on paper. You will also be able to register your research project here. 

Do you have questions about research data management or your own Data Management Plan? You can contact the Digital Competence Center via

Research Data Management Awareness Workshop

You are welcome to participate in our Research Data Management Awareness Workshop. This is a basic "awareness training" developed for and mandatory as of January 2017 for beginning PhD-candidates at the GSMS. PhD-candidates can register here. Other researchers at the UMCG or Faculty of Medicine are welcome to take part in a similar workshop and can register here: 'Research Data Management Awareness Workshop'.

Please note that there are only places available in the workshop if the green register button states: "Register - xx seats left".

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Workshop Research Data Management for GSMS PhD-candidates

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Subjects: Faculty of Medical Sciences