Research Data Management


Research Data Management (RDM) refers to the process applied through the lifecycle of a research project to guide the collection, documentation, storage, sharing and preservation  of research data.

Good research data management prevents data loss, keeps data secure and facilitates data sharing. 

 Plan, Acquire, Create, Process, Analyze, Publish, Share, Archive, Preserve,Discover, Reuse

Trent University Library will be pleased to assist researchers in creating data management plans (DMP). This includes assisting researchers in discovering and using tools specifically designated and recognized by granting agencies for the creation of DMPs, ensuring metadata meets designated standards for spatial and numeric files, and ensuring data are archived for future use.

What are research data? 

Research data are quantitative and qualitative sources of information gathered to support technical or scientific enquiry, research, scholarship, and creative practice. Research data are used as evidence in the research process and are commonly used in the research community as a method for validating, identifying or refuting research findings and claims. Research data are collected and used in scholarship across all academic disciplines and may take many forms such as experimental trial data, observational data, tracking data, third party and public sector data, monitoring data, processed data, visual data, and repurposed data.

Examples include documents, spreadsheets, laboratory notebooks, field manuals, diaries, questionnaires, transcripts, codebooks, video, sound recordings, photographs, films, designs or other graphical representations, test responses, slides, artefacts, specimens, samples, data files, models, algorithms, scripts, methodologies and workflows, protocols and more.

Why manage your research data?

  • improve your data's accuracy, completeness and usability
  • prevent data loss
  • encourage the discovery and use of your data to explore new research questions increase impact and visibility
  • ensure long-term preservation for future researchers
  • comply with ethics and privacy policies
  • meet funding agency requirements
  • write more competitive grant applications

FUnding Agency Requirements

Canada's federal research agencies are strong advocates for making publically-funded research data as accessible as possible. The Tri-Agency released a Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management and Research Data Management Policy that outline expectations and responsibilities for research data management and open data sharing. 

By spring 2022, the Tri-Agencies will identify an initial set of funding opportunities that will require applications to include a Data Management Plan (DMP). Before this date the agencies will pilot the DMP requirement in targeted funding opportunities. 

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a written document that describes the data you expect to acquire or generate during the course of a research project, how you will manage, describe, analyze, and store those data, and what mechanisms you will use at the end of your project to share and preserve your data.  A DMP is best written at the project inception or grant application phase, but can be considered at any time during the life of a research program. DMPs are normally living documents that can be modified to accommodate changes in the course of your research.

DMPs are written to help stakeholders understand:

  • what data will be created or used
  • how the data will be documented and described
  • who owns and who can access the data
  • who is responsible for data management and integrity
  • how long the data will be preserved
  • what resources are required to maintain, access and preserve the data during and after the research

ONLINE TOOL FOR Creating a Data Management PLAN (DMP) 

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada's  Portage Network is dedicated to the shared stewardship of research data in Canada. University libraries have worked collaboratively with funding agencies to create a free bilingual tool for preparing data management plans (DMPs).

Portage DMP Assistant Logo - Digital Research Alliance of CanadaThe DMP Assistant is a web-based tool which provides researchers with step-by-step assistance to develop their own data management plans through a series of questions based on a template for research data stewardship. Researchers can use the online web-based templates to create and export their DMP, which can then be added to grant applications. The DMP Assistant is a useful for most funding opportunities and has been designed to meet the requirements of these Canadian funders:

  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) 
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Want to get started? Create a DMP Assistant account and add information about your research project to a template.  

There are many guides to assist you. Portage has created excellent exemplars and templates designed specifically for different disciplines and also has a general template. Also, the Portage Network provides access to free webinars and training modules on data management and the DMP Assistant.  

Trent Library would be pleased to assist researchers with using the DMP Assistant. Contact us. 


Brief Guide: Data Management Plans 

Brief Guide: Create and Effective Data Management Plan

"Good enough" Research Data Management (a brief guide for busy people)

Research Data Archiving

Further information


Barbara Znamirowski
Head, Maps, Data & Government Information Centre
Trent University Library