Linking community and technology to enable FAIR data

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Howto articles How to create a Data Management Section  

Why do you need a Data Management Section?

Good data management starts with a good plan. A Data Management Plan (DMP) helps you to manage data, meet funder requirements and help others use your research data if shared. A first step towards a full stack Data Management Plan is the Data Management Section. When applying for funding, it becomes more and more common practice to write a data management section. Most research funders require one as part of a project proposal. And when the project is granted funders may ask you to provide a full Data Management Plan. 


Are you writing a grant proposal but you are unsure about what to answer to questions on the data management of your project? It is important to think about which data could be relevant and how these data could be stored so that they are accessible for reuse. Keep in mind that most funders are in favor of open access and the reuse of research data when writing a Data Management Section.

Get started with this sample text

Below you can find a sample text for a Data Management Section. You can copy it and adapt it to your situation.


Please be aware of the fact that this text is based on the use of the DataHub infrastructure. Moreover, you will have to add a text with an explanation of your research project yourself.

Sample text

[ Add a description of your research project. In this description you should mention e.g. what the research question is focused on, what type of data will be generated, and what volume of data will be generated. As for storage, reusability and accessibility you can use the sample text below (in case you are going to make use of the DataHub infrastructure). ]

All data generated in this project will be deposited at the institutional research data management infrastructure DataHub Maastricht. Data in this institutional repository will be stored according to the FAIR principles. DataHub Maastricht works in accordance with funder and university data policies, and is compliant with current (and future) law and regulations.

For stable storage of the data during and after research, the following resources will be required: sufficient storage capacity, a backup system for the storage and sufficient network bandwidth for storing and accessing the data. All these requirements are met by DataHub Maastricht, which provides ample storage capacity (hundreds of Gigabytes), is backed up two times per day and can be accessed with a speed of up to 1 Gb/s.

The dataset(s) generated by this research project, will be provided with metadata. This metadata will be enriched with the use of ontologies. More detailed metadata will be created based on the ISA metadata standard. The ISA files will contain the metadata for instance units, coding of variables, conditions in which the measurements take place. The DataHub infrastructure will provide the dataset(s) generated by this project with Unique Persistent Identifiers (PIDs). These PIDs will link to the specific datasets within the DataHub infrastructure. The resulting publication(s) will also contain these PIDs and will be identified with a DOI provided by the publisher.

The use of an already existing metadata standard (ISA) combined with the use of ontologies from various open ontologies provided by EBI's Ontology Lookup Service, will assure that the interoperability of the data gathered in this project is optimal. DataHub’s vision is to structure (meta)data as early as possible in the process. To provide optimal interoperability, we will try to use as much of the standard vocabulary as possible. For some metadata this is already forced by the DataHub infrastructure for interoperability reasons. Some fields will be annotated with an ontology that will be research domain specific. When possible, we will provide a mapping to a more commonly used ontology.

DataHub Maastricht provides services on sustainability and access during and after the research project. An access management layer is available within the infrastructure. Only people with the correct permissions will be able to upload new data and access existing data. After the agreed incubation period the data will be made available to the DataHub Maastricht community or beyond. Personal sensitive data on human subject will not be made available for ethical/privacy reasons. For long-term storage DataHub Maastricht will look into the possibilities for storage at DataHub Maastricht, possibly in combination with a (n external) domain specific repository.

Data Management Section for Veni/Vidi candidates

If you are a Veni/Vidi candidate and you need to write a NWO Data Management Section, visit this how to: 

 How to create a NWO Data Management Section

Complete plan

If you need to write a complete Data Management Plan, visit this how to: 

 How to create a Data Management Plan

More info

If you need more info you can contact us for help.

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