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Data Management Plans

On March 16, 2021, the Tri-Agency announced the launch of the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. “These standards support research excellence by ensuring that research is performed ethically and makes good use of public funds, experiments and studies are replicable, and research results are as accessible as possible.” This policy will be implemented incrementally. In the spring of 2022, the Agencies identified the initial set of funding opportunities subject to the data management plan (DMP) requirement. 

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

DMPs include information on how data will be collected, documented, deposited and shared. They are living documents that can be changed throughout the research process. Writing down these points during the DMP process will formalize your plan, help to identify areas requiring further attention and give you a formal record of what you intended to do. A DMP can strengthen your research throughout the research lifecycle and ensure compliance with grant funders and compliance committees. At Ontario Tech, it is encouraged to create your DMP early on in the research process. As of spring 2022, the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy will require DMPs to be submitted for select funding applications. For researchers conducting human participant research, the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 (Article 5.3) requires researchers to provide details to the Research Ethics Boards on their proposed measures for safeguarding information for the full cycle of information, its collection, use, dissemination, retention and/or disposal.

Who uses a DMP?

The researcher uses the DMP to organize how their data will be used throughout the research process. The Office of Research Services will use this information to understand the responsibilities of the research team and for research ethics compliance. Funding sources use the DMP to ensure that your research meets high standards for discoverability and usage. The Tri-Agency RDM Policy details how the agencies will require DMPs to be submitted at the time of application as outlined in each call for proposal as of spring 2022. The Research Ethics Board also requires a DMP as noted in Article 5.3 above. If a researcher requires additional storage, they can include this in their budget during the grant process. Afterwards, the DMP can be used to ensure that data is shared appropriately.

How do I create a DMP?

The Library website includes tips for using the DMP Assistant from Portage and features additional resources on creating a DMP. This tool is available to all researchers and it allows them to create a DMP through answering a series of key data management questions.

  • How the data will be collected and how much data will be collected
  • What file formats will be used
  • Where the data will be deposited
  • How the data will be shared and when
  • How to protect sensitive data
  • How to archive the data for long-term access
  • The roles and responsibilities of the researchers involved
  • Your available data management assets
  • The clarity of your language for all stakeholders

As the DMP is a living document, you can make changes throughout the process to ensure the DMP still meets your needs. The Library also offers workshops and training on Data Management throughout the year.

Tri-Agency Policies and Guidelines:

Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy
Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management
Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications
Access to Research Results: Guiding Principles
SSHRC Research Data Archiving Policy
Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2 2018)