Data Plan Basics
Topics most plans will cover
- The kind of data to be collected and eventually shared
- Whether confidentiality is an issue and how it will be addressed during the project and as the data is shared
- Any conditions regarding the dissemination of data, such as embargo, approval, or aggregation
- How the data will be disseminated and preserved. Name a specific repository or location if possible
- Maintenance of backups or other means to protect data during the project
Additional topics that may arise for specific projects, academic fields, or granting agencies
- If security is an issue, how will it be protected? What specific methods, such as secure computers and facilities or encryption will be enacted?
- Are there any conflicts between the policies of the granting agency and those of other institutions like the home institution or IRB? How are these conflicts addressed?
- What specific materials in addition to research data will be archived? Do these materials ensure replicability of results?
- Do you have permission to redistribute and archive any data for which you are not the creator?
Key Objectives: data documentation and quality, funding agency requirements, attention to confidentiality, archival / retention, ownership and licensing of data
- What type of information will be collected? What will be its format (images, data file, maps)?
- Do you have an estimate of the amount of data? Will storage requirements be extensive?
- What supplemental material will you provide to document the data, its collection, and analysis?
- Are there any confidentiality or privacy issues for the dataset? How do you plan to address them prior to archiving the data?
- Who will own the data? Control? Update? Who will make licensing agreements and ensure compliance with copyrights?
- Where do you plan to store the data? Will the data be shared through personal contact, widely distributed by a public repository, or somewhere in between?
Key Objectives: review of data documentation, review of confidentiality and privacy, review of ownership and licensing
- Are there any alterations, transformations, or imputations that are undocumented? Are there any that were required for analysis or necessary for future use?
- If this is a dataset composed of original data, have you included the collection instrument or methods (survey, equipment specifications, etc.)?
- Have you identified potential repositories for the data? Can they meet your storage needs?
- If any data are not of your creation, are you in compliance with the rights of the creators?
Key Objectives: retention specifics, ownership and licensing terms, updates, access conditions, protection of confidentiality
- How long should the data be retained? Is it permanent? Will it be updated, and if so, who is responsible for updates?
- Who controls access and fields questions?
- Who are the primary contacts, if not the individual above?
Will the data be released immediately, or is there an embargo?
- Are you in compliance with the requirements of the data repository where the data will reside?