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Data Management Plans

This is a guide for researchers applying to grants that require data management plans or data sharing plans, but it also contains general information about data management practices.

Subject Guide Author

Stefan Kramer's picture
Stefan Kramer
Associate Director for Research Data Services

Appointments: schedule one

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5795-7629

Submitting data to the AU Digital Research Archive

AU researchers can specify the AU Digital Research Archive (DRA.american.edu), which has a collection for faculty research, as a vehicle for sharing and archiving their data in a data management plan.  The AU DRA, launched in the summer of 2015, is based on the Islandora platform, and hosted and operated for AU by the IT group of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).  The current dataset size limit is 2 GB per file.

Since many data management plans require addressing which metadata standard(s) of the researcher's community will be employed in data sharing, it is noteworthy that the AU DRA uses the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) for all digital objects it hosts, with the MODS metadata for datasets specifically mapped to elements of the DataCite Metadata Schema that are of specific relevance to datasets, such as file format and geographic location (if applicable). These metadata elements, then, are part of the AU DRA platform; additionally, researchers may submit, along with datasets, files containing metadata for them (for example, DDI XML files created with any of the available DDI Tools). See also: Disciplinary Metadata.

‚ÄčAU researchers can submit datasets to AU DRA using the Faculty Research Deposit form. For submitted file formats, they should consider whether these are suitable for long-term usability and software-independence, as opposed to being in a proprietary format that is only readable with specific software (which may become unavailable or change what file formats it supports).  For guidance, see, for example: Sustainability of Digital Formats: Datasets: Quality and Functionality Factors and Format Descriptions for Dataset Formats by the Library of Congress. (AU library personnel will generally not modify or convert researcher-submitted datasets.)  See also tools for working with research data.

Files submitted to AU DRA can, upon the submitter's request, have an embargo date applied to them, so that they do not actually become publicly available until that future date.

 

Resources for Data Management Plan Consultation

Library consultation for AU researchers with writing a research data management plan for funding applications, or for exploring ways to publish/share their data: Stefan Kramer.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is responsible for all pre-award and non-financial post-award functions including proposal submissions.

Advice for faculty on research design, data collection, and statistical analysis - can apply to faculty research intended for academic publication or for sponsored faculty research: Research Support Group of CTRL (the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning).

The Statistical Consulting Center provides assistance with statistics-related problems to students, faculty and staff.  Also in the library Research Commons is Statistical Software Support - check the library's operating hours for these services' availability.

Support for use of the resources of ICPSR (the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, of which AU is a member), which also offers data deposit services: AU's Official Representative.

Consultation about legal and ethical issues related to data: Institutional Review Board.

 

Request for the Library to License New Data

If you need data that is not already licensed by the library or freely available, please contact your respective University Library Collection Manager or the Associate Director for Research Data Services to request a purchase. 

Campus Contacts

Data sharing/publishing, management plans: Stefan Kramer

Research funding requirements: Office of Sponsored Programs

Facilitation of research involving human subjects: Institutional Review Board

Research design, data collection and statistical analyses: CTRL Research Support Group (for faculty)

Licensing and intellectual property: Office of General Counsel

Statistical Software Support and Statistical Consulting Center in the library Research Commons