USGS Data Management
Data Management Plans
Planning for Data Management involves answering questions about the data: Do they already exist? How will they be obtained or collected? What is the schedule and budget for data collection? How will the data be checked and certified? What are the likely uses for the data? How will the data be stored, accessed, and protected? A good data management plan provides a strategy for how you will answer all of these questions.
Best Practices: Data Management Planning Considerations
This checklist is useful to ensure that you have addressed the issues that may affect your data.
What data are you collecting? Do the data already exist?
[see Acquire > Methods for more information on data acquisition issues]
Who is responsible for managing the data and the data management plan?
How will data be collected?
[see Acquire > Methods for more information on data collection issues]
What format will the data and metadata be in?
What is the schedule and budget for the collection?
How will the data be checked and certified?
[see Manage Quality for more information]
What are all the likely uses for the data, who will use it, what kinds of outputs will be needed?
How do these impact the need to store, access, and protect the data?
How are the data being stored and backed up?
Example Data Management Plan Formats
Some example Data Management Plans from various institutions can be found at Public DMPs
The DMPTool is a collaboration of multiple institutions, including DataONE. The DMPTool will help you:
"Designed to help researchers learn about data management and write guided Data Management Plans (DMPs), the DMPTool walks researchers through the steps neccesary to create a generic NSF DMP or a DMP targeted to one of six NSF Directorates. You can also save, preview, and export your plans and future functionality will allow you to share DMPs with collaborators and other researchers." Visit the DMPTool.
Anyone can sign up for a free account. Click the "Get Started" button on the DMPTool homepage to begin. USGS users will select "None of the above" from the drop-down menu of institutions. See the DMPTool Guide for additional information and assistance.
What the U. S. Geological Survey Manual Says:
The USGS Manual Chapter 1100.1 - Information Product Planning discusses planning for information products, which includes data products:
"Policy: Planning for information products begins as early as possible during the evolution of a project. A written planning document must be developed prior to production for each information product. An information product plan will ensure adequate management and budgeting for all elements of the information life cycle including planning, development, dissemination, documentation, storage, evaluation, and disposition."
Note: Information Product: An information product is the compilation of scientific communication or knowledge such as facts, data, or interpretations in any medium (e.g., print, digital, Web) or form, including textual, numerical, graphical, cartographic, or audiovisual, to be disseminated to a defined audience or customer, scientific or nonscientific, internal or external.
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