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Research Data Management: Responsibilities & Resources

Bringing together University resources and services to facilitate researchers in the production of high quality data.

At a Glance

It is important for all members of the research team to understand who is responsible for data management:

  • Who is responsible for the various aspects of data management?
  • How often will the plan be updated and reviewed?
  • What resources (financial & time) are needed?

Data Management costs which can be justified should be included in grant proposal budgets. These costs need to be considered at the beginning of a research project, as for all funders funding ends at the end of project. Therefore any costs must be incurred within the time of the grant and need to be written in at application stage.

Help@UCD: UCD Research Data Management Policy

According to UCD’s RDM policy Researchers are responsible for: 

  • Managing research data in accordance with the data management plan
  • Developing and documenting clear procedures for the collection, storage, use, re-use, access and retention or destruction of the research data and records associated with their research project. 
  • Planning for the ongoing custodianship (at the University or using third-party services) of their data after the completion of the research project or, in the event of their departure or retirement from the University, reaching agreement with the Head of School/Institute Director (or their nominee) as to where such data will be located and how this will be stored. 
  • Ensuring that any requirements in relation to research data management placed on their research by publishers, funding bodies or regulatory agencies or under the terms of a research contract with the University are also met. 

If a researcher leaves UCD, what procedures are in place? If personal data is collected, UCD as controller and grant holder is legally responsible for the data, as data subjects give data to UCD as an organisation, not to individual researchers in a personal capacity. Researchers leaving UCD cannot take personal data with them - for example if they join another University this would also make this other University a data controller. If the data subject is not aware of this and did not agree to it then it is a breach of the GDPR.

Data Management Costing Tools

6 Data management responsibilities and resources

6a Who (for example role, position, and institution) will be responsible for data management?

Points to consider: 
  • Outline the roles and responsibilities for data management/stewardship activities for example data capture, metadata production, data quality, storage and backup, data archiving, and data sharing. Name responsible individual(s) where possible.
  • For collaborative projects, explain the co-ordination of data management responsibilities across partners.
  • Indicate who is responsible for implementing the DMP, and for ensuring it is reviewed and, if necessary, revised. Your DMP is not designed to be a static document and should be updated periodically:
    • If there are any major changes to your research project
    • If you are generating any new data
    • Before any reporting period to your funder

6b What resources (for example financial and time) will be dedicated to data management and ensuring that data will be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable)?

Points to consider: 
  • Explain how the necessary resources (for example time & people, storage & computation, creation & reuse of data and deposition & preservation) to prepare the data for sharing/preservation (data curation) have been costed in. 
  • Carefully consider and justify any resources needed to deliver the data. These may include storage costs, hardware, staff time, costs of preparing data for deposit, and repository charges.

Update your DMP

Your Data Management Plan is not designed to be a static document and should be updated periodically:

  • If there are any major changes to your research project
  • If you are generating any new data
  • Before any reporting period to your funder

Data Responsibility

  • Depending on the size of your research project it migth be useful to hire a dedicated project manager who, alongside their main function, also has explicit responsibility for data management.
  • Access to your data needs to be controlled. One person needs to oversee data collection and file management.
  • If you are working with multiple partners, discuss and agree who will have ownership of the data at the end of the project.
  • Establish and publish a policy on data sharing at the end of the project if appropriate. Include governance on who makes the decision to share the data and if there are any restrictions.
  • At the end of the project, ensure your long-term data storage procedures are executed, for example, submission to data repositories, specific funding agency requirements or otherwise.

What will it cost to manage and share my data?

What will it cost to manage and share my data?

Infographic providing information for researchers on the costs of research data management, how these can be addressed in advance, and the community resources available.

Research Data Management Costs

  • Support for (part or full time) dedicated Data Managers or Data Scientists for data collection, analysis etc.
  • Any data or software management training required by staff to deliver the proposed research
Not usually considered
  • Occasional or routine support from institutional support staff
Storage & Computation
  • Dedicated hardware or software required for the proposed research, for example encrypted laptops, encrypted recording devices
  • Costs to access supercomputers or shared facilities
Not usually considered
  • Costs associated with routine data storage
Creation & reuse of data
  • Costs to access data, software and materials
  • Transcription
  • Anonymisation
  • Obtaining informed consent
Deposition & Preservation
  • Preparation of data for deposit with an Archive or Repository, for example
    • Transcription
    • Data description
    • Data cleaning
    • Creating documentation
    • Creating metadata
    • Formatting and organising of data
    • Copyright clearance
  • Ingestion or deposition costs for Repositories or Archives
Not usually considered
  • Costs for curation and maintenance of data, code and materials beyond lifetime of the grant