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Data Management Planning for NMSU Researchers


This guide assists NMSU researchers in complying with the mandates requiring open data deposit and preservation. When preparing grant proposals, especially federally funded grants, researchers can no longer state that the data will be stored on a computer, or retrievable from one's personal website, or on a social networking site such as ResearchGate or Researchers must have a sound data management plan in place before applying for the grant. This guide aims to inform and guide you through that process. 

Using This Guide

Need help writing your data management plan? See Data Management Planning 

Want to know what your funder requires for data deposit? See Data Management Policies and Federal Agencies

Are you looking for a repository to deposit your data? See Data Repositories and Directories


"Research Data Management" by jannekestaaks is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

What Are Data?

Broadly speaking, data are items of recorded information, often numeric, collected for reference and analysis. Data can be either quantitative or qualitative and occur in a variety of formats. Examples include:

  • audio recordings
  • images (films, scans, photographs, and more)
  • measurements from lab or field equiment
  • notebooks
  • observational data
  • physical samples
  • software and code
  • survey responses


What Is Research Data Management?

Research data management is the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used in a research project. It deals with managing the research data during the lifetime of a research project and it involves decisions about how the data will be presented and shared once the research project is finished. An example of this is depositing the data in a freely available data repository for long-term archiving and access. 


Why Is It Important?

There are many reasons why managing your research data is important. Consider:

  • Data are scholarly outputs, just like journal articles and books
  • Data are fragile and easily lost or misplaced. This is especially true of digital data
  • Both journals and funding agencies are increasingly requiring open data deposit
  • A well-managed data archive helps prevent errors. It also increases the quality of your analyses
  • Well-managed and accessible data allows others to validate and replicate your findings
  • Openly accessible data allows for data sharing and, when done so, can lead to valuable discoveries outside the original researchers


Consider these benefits:

  • Saves you time
  • increases the impact of your work via data citation
  • documents and provides evidence for your research
  • meets copyright and ethical compliance issues
  • preserves data for long-term access
  • ensures against data loss

 And if none of these reasons convinces you, watching this short, humorous film just might. 

A data management horror story by Karen Hanson, Alisa Surkis and Karen Yacobucci, from the New York University Health Sciences Library. This is what shouldn't happen when a researcher makes a data-sharing request! Topics include storage, documentation, and file formats. CC BY