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
  • comply with ethics and privacy policies
  • meet requirements and expectations set by funding agencies and publishers
  • write more competitive grant applications
  • raise the profile and recognition of your research
  • ensure long-term preservation for future researchers
  • encourage the discovery and use of your data to explore new research questions 

FUnding Agency Requirements

Many funders now require grant applicants to submit a Data Management Plan (DMP). 

For example, 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. 

One of the policy requirements is that applicants to certain funding opportunities will need to submit data management plans (DMPs) with their applications. The initial set of grants requiring DMPs was announced in Spring 2022. For further information, see Tri-Agency Research Data Management policy update

A DMP is recommended regardless of whether a researcher has funding or is required to submit a DMP by a funding agency. 

Trent University's Research Data Management Strategy 

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 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
  • who owns and who can access the data
  • how will the data be shared and made discoverable 

ONLINE TOOL FOR Creating a Data Management PLAN (DMP) 

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada 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


Research Data Repositories 

Best practices for research data management include ensuring that research data are preserved following the necessary curation and storage conditions needed to keep your data securely accessible over the long term. Trent University Library actively encourages the deposit of research data into a reputable repository. We have two repositories that may serve your needs, and we can also refer you to other discipline-specific repositories. For further information see our web page on Research Data Archiving

Further information


Tracy Sallaway

Research Data Services Librarian & 
Head, Maps, Data & Government Information Centre
Trent University Library