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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.

Guide Author

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

Appointments: schedule one

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5795-7629

Resources for writing a Data Management Plan

OIT offers guidance articles on Data Storage and on File Backup. AU's OneDrive for Business storage can be increased from the default of one TB if "needed for faculty research or another AU business need" by request to OIT.

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 research: CTRL (the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning).

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 or Designated Representative. ICPSR will also quote the cost of enhancing the data and making it publicly accessible (i.e., not just to ICPSR member organizations, which does not necessarily satisfy funder requirements) to a P.I. so that that cost can be put into the grant application.

Consultation about ethical issues related to human subjects data: Institutional Review Board.

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.

Submitting data to the AU Digital Research Archive

AU researchers can specify the AU Digital Research Archive (AUDRA.american.edu), which has a collection for faculty-produced research data, as a vehicle for sharing and archiving their data in a data management plan.  The AUDRA, 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 2½ GB per file for uploads through AUDRA's web interface; WRLC can import larger files sent to them on disk (contact me to discuss details if that need arises).

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 AUDRA uses the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) for all digital objects it hosts. These metadata elements, then, are part of the AUDRA 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. Furthermore, data (and related research outputs) submitted to AUDRA can be assigned globally unique, persistent Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs); see Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and their use at American U.

‚ÄčAU researchers can submit datasets to AUDRA 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 AUDRA 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.

 

Qualitative and multi-method data sharing for AU researchers

AU researchers in need of sharing data from qualitative and multi-method research projects may benefit from AU's Qualitative Data Repository membership.

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. However, the data will usually need to be able to be made available to all users at AU via the Numeric/Statistical Data Collection.