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University of Portland Clark Library

Data Management: Data Planning Preparation

Data Life Cycle

A circle that begins with: Plan -> Collect -> Assure -> Describe -> Preserve -> Discover -> Integrate -> Analyze -> Plan


Data Planning

Before you begin your research, review the following check list.  Discuss the questions on the check list with your research group.

Data Planning Checklist

  1. What type of data will be produced?
  2. How much data will there be? How quickly will it grow? How often will it change?
  3. Who will use the data now, and in the future?
  4. Who controls the data (professor, student, lab, funding agency)? What intellectual property considerations might apply?
  5. How long should the data be retained? How long would you expect it to be useful, e.g. through the end of grant/experiment, 3-5 years, 10-20 years, permanently?


  1. Is there project and data documentation?
  2. What directory and file naming conventions will be used?
  3. What project and data identifiers will be assigned?
  4. What file formats are used? Are they standards-based or proprietary?
  5. Are there tools or software needed to create/process/visualize the data? Are the tools or software proprietary?
  6. Is there an ontology or other community standard for data sharing/integration?

Access, Sharing, and Re-use

  1. Any special privacy or security requirements? e.g., personal data, high-security data
  2. Any sharing requirements? e.g., funder data sharing policy
  3. Any other funder requirements? e.g., data management plan in grant proposals
  4. What is your storage and backup strategy?
  5. When will it be shared and where? How broadly will it be shared? How large will the data set be and will that present  difficulties?
  6. Who in the research group will be responsible for data management? Used with Permission | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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