We help UT Dallas researchers manage, store, and share the data they produce. Most funding agencies now require a Data Management Plan (DMP), but almost any research project would benefit from having one in place prior to collecting a single data point. A complete DMP outlines the processes, strategies, and overall architecture of the security, processing, and publication of data involved in your research project. The Office of Research’s (OR) refreshed data management pages and partnership in offering DMPTool are two resources to help researchers create and follow through on excellent DMPs.
Many funding agencies have instituted requirements for data sharing and formal data management plans (DMP), including but not limited to:
- National Institutes of Health
- Encourages the sharing of research data and requires funded proposals at $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year to include a data sharing and management plan in their proposal. See NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy for genomic focused research.
- National Science Foundation
- As described in NSF Data Sharing Policy, all grant proposals must include a data management plan of no more than two pages describing how all data will be managed and shared.
By creating a complete DMP, you can better manage your data, meet funder requirements, and help other researchers use the data when shared.
We have partnered with the University of California Curation Center to provide access to DMPTool. This web-based tool helps construct DMPs using funder focused templates. With this tool, you can save, edit, and share your plans as well as request a review of your DMP from UT Dallas Office Research, Office of Information Security, and Office of Information Technology. To access the UT Dallas-customized DMPTool, choose “University of Texas at Dallas” as your institution to login via single sign-on. A quick start guide is available through DMPTool Help.
UTRC Fast Track
UT Dallas, in collaboration with UT System, offers rapid access to TACC for faculty, staff, and students. Here you can obtain and secure your account, create a project, and request an allocation.
High Performance Computing Services
ORIS provides Callisto, a public High Performance Computing (HPC) environment, that researchers can utilize for short-term, proof-of-concept experiments. This can give your project the edge it needs for sponsorship.
You may also use the questions below in conjunction with other specific funder requirements to write your own data management plan.
- Project and Data Description
- How, what, and why is the data being collected?
- How much data over what period will the data be collected and/or generated?
- Are you using existing data, if so where is it from and are there any restrictions on its use? (HIPAA, ITAR, FERPA, etc.)
- Metadata, Format, and Documentation
- How will you document the metadata, and is it using open standards or a proprietary format?
- What formats will be used; is licensed software needed to view and operate the data?
- What directory and file naming conventions will be used?
- Access and Sharing
- Who holds the Intellectual Property rights to the data?
- When, how, and what data will be shared?
- Are there any ethical, privacy, licensing, patent, or confidentiality concerns in sharing of the data? Will the data need to be anonymized before it is shared with others/external?
- Storage and Management
- Who will be responsible for managing the data? (Data Owner)
- What are the local and shared storage backup procedures?
- What policies are in place to provide secure authenticated access to active research projects? Are there requirements for encryption, segmentation, or isolation?
- Where will the data be archived and how long will the data be stored? 3, 5, 10 years, indefinitely?
- Will you be using a domain-specific repository? If not, please consider using Callisto (UT Dallas Globus Endpoint).
External resources for developing a plan
- UT Dallas is a member of the
UT Dallas references
- UT Dallas guidelines for the minimum security standards for systems associated with Category I, II, or III Data
- Securing Research Data by UT Dallas Information Security
- Public Access Mandates by Funder
It is critical to manage, store, backup, and archive your data. Here are our recommendations and guidelines on how to achieve all five.
By creating and utilizing data documentation, or metadata, you and other researchers can easily understand, find, use, and properly cite your data. There are various metadata standards available for specific disciplines and file formats, as well as the general guidelines below.
- Note of all file standards and naming conventions associated with your project, how the data is organized, and how it was collected and generated
- Note all codes, abbreviations, or variables used in file naming conventions
- Title: Research project or dataset name
- Creator: Name and contact information for data owners
- Dates: Project begin and end dates, data release date, time period for data collection
- Funders: Agencies or organizations that funded the project
- Rights: Any applicable IP information
- Location: Where and how the data is stored and archived
- Methodology: How you collected and/or generated the data including any special software or tools used
Store, Backup, Archive
There are several important steps in ensuring data is accessible, secure, and accurate. It is paramount that backups of your research data are created and maintained. This can be accomplished through the use of local backups, departmental or university servers, or cloud providers. Always regularly test your backups to ensure they remain operational and recoverable. We also strongly recommend more than one backup in different locations. Please refer to the list below for some options for each phase of your research.
- Active storage and processing
- CometSpace/Box provided by UT Dallas
- Departmental/OIT provided file shares
- High Performance Computing resources
- Questions about storing research data may be sent to the Office of Research
- Questions about securing research data may be sent to the Information Security Office
- To have your data plan reviewed, submit via DMPTool
Data repositories are helpful in managing and storing your data long term and facilitate the sharing and citation of your data. The following repositories are supported by or partners of UT Dallas.