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Research Data Management

Who needs to lodge a DMP (Data Management Plan)?

All ECU staff and Higher Degree by Research students involved in research and research-related activities.

One DMP is required per project.

Please do not attempt your first DMP without assistance.  For assistance please contact Heather Boyd (6304 6767).


Click here to download ECU's Data Management Plan template

Frequently Asked Questions and Tips

Research Project Title

 Please keep this consistent with your ethics and / or grant application

Research Project Short Title (< 20 characters): This will be used in your research project folder name



Lead ECU Investigator Details

 Researcher Name

 Use your official name, as it appears on student or staff records

 Staff/Student Number


 Contact Number


 Contact Email


 ECU School


 Ethics Project Number

 Stream number


Funding (if applicable)

 Funding Body (Also referred to as Sponsor in the Research Management System)

 For example:     Edith Cowan University

 Funding Scheme and Year that the award notification was made

                             ECR grant scheme 2018

 RMS Project Number



Supervisor Details (Students Only)

 Name of Principal Supervisor


 Contact Number


 Contact Email



 DMP Completion Date


Section One: Data Description

Q1.1 Please list any datasets that will be collected or used in this research. In the case of the datasets not collected in this project, the re-use may be formal and involve a licensed arrangement; it may be an informal arrangement between colleagues or a dataset previously collected by the project team. In the case of re-use, please include the source of the data.

For example:

  • Questionnaires – practitioner attitudes
  • Carlile Swimming Archive Collection (Source: Carlile Support Pty Ltd)
  • Patient medical records (Source: Department of Medical Oncology, SCGH)
  • Interview transcriptions – geriatric muggers (Source: Christine Jones, ECU)
  • Matlab Signal Specifier Library (Source: Simon Janke, ECU)


 Data Description






 Add new rows as required

* Please use the numbering system in this section when referring to specific datasets in the following sections.

What is research data?

Research data could be anything that may be needed to validate the results of research.

"Research data" means facts, observations or experiences on which an argument, theory or test is based. Data may be numerical, descriptive or visual. Data may be raw or analysed, experimental or observational. Data includes records, files and other evidence, irrespective of their content or form. Data may be digital, non-digital (in print, lab notebooks, field notebooks, questionnaires, audiotapes, videotapes, models, photographs, films, test responses) or primary materials (geological, biological, chemical, etc.).

In the creative arts, data includes the creative artefacts of human expression that have emerged via text, visual arts, performing arts and music where both the expressive artefact and the process of creating that artefact are the objects of investigation. Data can be ephemeral and multifaceted and should therefore be thought of as the shifting and constantly re-evaluated set of emergent ideas that find embodiment in the final artwork. For this mode of research, a durable record of the response to the data should be maintained, for example, as a visual diary, recording or journal. (From Policy: Management of Research Data and Records, University of Melbourne, Approved 18/05/2011.)

More data description examples:
Eye-tracking data - Cricket Umpires
Questionnaires - pre and post intervention
Focus group recordings - parents
Motion capture data - saxophonists upper body
Time-to-action data - paramedics
AUSTSWIM Course demographic data
Ocean samples - Southern Ocean
Semi-structured interviews - human rights organisations

Q1.2 Please list the software that will be required to read the data used, collected and analysed in this project. It is essential to include the version number and type of package.

For example:

  • MP3 player, AVI player, CSV reader, text reader
  • Word 2016, Excel 2015
  • Vicon Nexus 2.6.0, Tobii Pro Lab 1.79, Unity 2017.2, C-Motion Visual3D
  • NVivo 11, IBM SPSS Statistics 24,  Matlab 2017b

Section Two - Project Agreements

Q2.1 Please list all agreements to which this project is or will be subject.


 Project Agreement1








1Examples:  funding body agreements, collaboration agreements, license agreements, participant agreements (information letter and consent form), confidentiality agreements, commercial agreements, et al.

Section Three - Data Storage and Access

“Institutions must provide facilities for the safe and secure storage of research data and for maintaining records of where research data are stored. …. Research data and primary materials must be stored in the safe and secure storage provided.” Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)

Q3.1 Will any of the project agreements listed in Q2.1 stipulate any data storage requirements? 

Examples: restrictions on use of cloud services or, off-site or off-shore storage locations, accessibility restrictions, encryption requirements…

 If yes, please indicate the agreement and stipulation/s.




Q3.2 Please indicate specifically where the primary copy of your digital data will be stored,

e.g., ECU Box Folder, ECU shared drive (\\staffshare\SchoolShare), etc.



Q3.3 Please list all those who will need access to the project space (other than the lead investigator).

This may include research collaborators within or outside ECU, research assistants, transcribers, supervisors etc


 Email address








Q3.4 Please indicate how much digital storage space is required to conduct this research. Choose one of the following: Small (0 – 50 GB), Medium (50 – 500 GB), Large (500 GB – 2 TB), Big (> 2 TB).



Q3.5 Please describe how you will be storing the non-digital data collected and generated during this research.




Remember that even if you digitise non digital (paper based) documents by scanning or other means, you are still required to retain the original (paper) copy.

Section Four - Data Retention and Disposal

“The responsible conduct of research includes the proper management and retention of the research data. Retaining the research data is important because it may be all that remains of the research work at the end of the project. …. The central aim is that sufficient materials and data are retained to justify the outcomes of the research and to defend them if they are challenged.”

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)


In Western Australia, research data retention periods are stipulated in the Western Australian University Sector Disposal Authority (WAUSDA). At ECU, the researcher needs to ensure that the primary copy of the data to be retained is made available to Records and Archives Management Service (RAMS) who manage data retention on behalf of the university. To find out more about data retention please contact RAMS (6304 2915,


Q4.1 Please use ‘X’ to indicate the minimum length of time the data for this project will need to be retained (according to WAUSDA). Only one option should be selected.

 Research Description


 Select (X)

 Research involving humans or animals that utilise high risk material (teratogens, carcinogens, ionising radiation or dangerous drugs).

  50 Years


 Research involving clinical trials.

  25 Years


 Research involving children under the age of 18 years old must be kept until the children have reached 25 years of age.*




 All other research

  7 Years


* Please provide the birth year of the youngest participant in your study and your calculation of the year when retention ends.

Q4.2 According to WAUSDA, research data retention starts at the conclusion of the project or at the date of publication whichever is later. Please provide an estimate of when you think your data may be ready for retention.



Q4.3 Will any of the project agreements listed in Q2.1 stipulate any non-WAUSDA compliant retention and disposal instructions?  If yes, please indicate the agreement and the stipulation/s.



The researcher is permitted to retain a copy of the research data for their own use as outlined in Section 2.2.2 of the Australian code for the responsible conduct of research (Australian Government, 2007). Ensure you retain your data in a format you will be able to access in the future - remember you may require access to specific software to access some data formats.

Section Five - Dataset Re-use and Discoverability

“Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.”

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007)

To find out more about data discoverability please contact the ECU Library (6304 5525,

Q5.1 Do any of the project agreements listed in Q2.1 prohibit the data, collected and created in this research, from being re-used?  

  1. No.
  2. Yes. (Explain below and end DMP)

If yes, please indicate the agreement and the stipulation/s.



Q5.2 Are you required to deposit your data in a discipline-specific repository?

  1. No. (Continue to 5.3)
  2. Yes. (Complete Table 5.2)
For example: Research funded by the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) is deposited in the Australian Ocean Data Network repository

Table 5.2


 Dataset Title

 Data Repository Name





* Please use the numbering system in Section 1 if the dataset is listed in Q1.1.


Q5.3 Do you plan to make any of the datasets, created in the course of this research, discoverable and available for use? You will be contacted by an ECU Librarian if you choose b) or c).

  1. Yes. (Complete Q5.4)
  2. Yes. I’ve never done this before and need assistance. (End of DMP)
  3. Not sure. I need more information before deciding. (End of DMP)
  4. No. (End of DMP)

Q5.4 Please indicate which datasets you would like to make available and which repository will be used.


 Data Repository Name

 Dataset Title




* Please use the numbering system in Section 1 if the dataset is listed in Q1.1.

When choosing a repository consider –

  • will your dataset be provided with a DOI?
  • will your dataset be listed with Research Data Australia?

Access - What level of access are you willing to provide?

  • Creative Commons licences can be used to set out the uses that may lawfully be made of the research data and specify the conditions which must be complied with when it is used. More information available here
  • You can make your data freely available or available by mediated access (data available after vetting requestor)

For more information


Research Data Management Plan - please email library research staff at

Research Project Folders in Records and Archives Management and Retention - please contact ECU Records and Archives Management Service.

Making your Dataset available for re-use - please email library research staff at

Recommended Structure for Research Data Folders

Example of Research Project (RP) Folder Structure in your Shared Drive Environment

RAMS has recommended the following top level file structure for use while the research project is in process. Arranging your documents in line with the structure facilitates the easy transfer of all project files into RAMS post-project from ECU Box or shared files.







6 CONDUCTING RESEARCH - this is where data you've collected should be stored