Good data management is a key component of open access to research data. Using a data management plan (DMP), researchers can describe how data that are collected and/or created will be managed during the course of the research, and how they will be taken care of afterwards.
The data management plan is intended to be a support in the research process, to facilitate the documentation of data before, during and after a research study. In particular, it is intended to be a support for the researcher and research team to document the various central data management elements and issues in a structured way, and thereby facilitate the planning, implementation, and future use of and access to research data.
The Swedish Research Council’s template for data management plans
The Swedish Research Council recommends that the template for data management plans produced by the Swedish Research Council and the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF) is used.
The template for data management plans is based on the ‘basic requirements’ set by Science Europe, and contains six sections that a data management plan should describe. The template can, as necessary, be expanded with more questions to make local or discipline-specific adaptations.
Guide to using the template
To support and complement the template, an accompanying guide has been produced. The purpose of the guide is to increase the understanding of the guiding questions in the template.
The guide can be used by researchers, but the primary target group is research-supporting functions that support the researchers’ work with data management plans. The guide may also be of use when producing local or discipline-specific adaptations.
Digital tool for data management plans
Sunet’s range of products and services includes a digital tool for data management plans. This is one of several possible alternatives that higher education institutions can use as support for producing and maintaining data management plans.
Frequently asked questions about data management plans
The Swedish Research Council has been mandated to coordinate the work of introducing open access to research data in Sweden. The requirement for data management plans is part of this work, and promotes what is known as ‘good data management’. Good data management is important to ensure research data can be used, quality assessed, preserved and be made available openly on the internet.
The requirement for data management plans applies to the Swedish Research Council’s grants for research generating research data.* The requirement applies to all who are awarded grants as from spring 2019.
*Exceptions are grants to organisations/organisation grants, network grants and conference grants.
You must produce a data management plan describing how data collected or created in your research will be managed – both while you carry out the research and afterwards.
Your administrating organisation is responsible for ensuring a data management plan is produced, and that the plan is maintained.
Is there a template I can use?
When you produce your data management plan, you can use the template produced by the Swedish Research Council and the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF). It consists of six central parts that a data management plan should cover.
Shall I send the data management plan to the Swedish Research Council?
Your application to the Swedish Research Council may include funding for all types of project-related costs. However, parts of the data management, such as storage of data, may be the responsibility of your higher education institution, and should therefore be funded by it.
What applies for costs of drawing up a data management plan?
Project-related costs for Swedish Research Council grants only refer to costs that arise during the grant period, which normally starts on 1 January. The data management plan must be drawn up before the research starts, however. On condition that the costs of drawing up a data management plan can be directly attributed to the project in question, and the costs arise during the project period (grant period) and not before, they may be included.
If you have any questions about how to handle and store your research data, please contact your higher education institution.
The Swedish Research Council’s website Registerforskning.se External link. has general information on what applies when you use register data in your research.