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Research Data Management

Research data management planning


From the start of your research project you need to plan how your
data will be managed - both during and afterwards.


A research data management plan (RDMP) is a document outlining how you intend to handle your data as you perform your research. The University of Notre Dame's RDMP - ResearchData@ND - is an interactive online tool designed to help you to consider how to plan for:

  • what type of data you will collect
  • how and where you will store that data
  • who will have access to it
  • how you will address any legislative requirements​
  • any agreements about ownership of the data between collaborators
  • how, where and when you will share your data at the end of the project

Managing the data over a whole project is very important for the success of your research, and at Notre Dame this goes hand in hand with your research responsibilities. Completing an RDMP is a requirement for all research projects, in particular anyone seeking to:

  • commence a higher degree by research (HDR)
  • obtain ethics approval for human research

A good RDMP will also help to ensure all the elements of research data 'FAIRness' are present - Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability (see the FAIR Principles tab on the Research Data Management page of this guide).

ResearchData@ND will help you follow good practice in data management planning, updating it as and when needed. The tool will also assist you to register for a Research Activity Identifier (RAiD), request storage for workspaces needing to have more than 1TB to be provisioned, enable supervisors and collaborators to review and check the plan, archive your final datasets and related information, and instigate processes for publishing your datasets.


Research funding bodies are concerned with obtaining the best outcomes for the research they fund. One of the ways they do this is by ensuring that researchers have a plan for their data throughout the whole research process.

An example of this is the Australian Research Council (ARC) - a key funding body of fundamental and applied research in Australia. Since 2020, the ARC has required funding applications for National Competitive Grants to have a completed data management plan before the project starts - this is to ensure that researchers are addressing the responsibilities as outlined in the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018.

It's important to note that for most grants the ARC does not require you to submit a full, detailed RDMP for assessment. However, you will need to have one in place before the start of the project and provide it to the ARC when requested.

"Persistent Identifiers are vital to research because they create a persistent [and unique] link to a location on the internet for journal papers, data, software, physical samples and grey literature. This facilitates citation, attribution, discovery and retrieval of information about the producers and the products of research, which is an essential foundation for future research." (ARDC)


Global, community-led PiDs endorsed for use by the University are:

  • DOI (Digital Object Identifier): for journal articles, ebooks, research data, software, instruments, and grey literature
  • ORCiD: for researchers
  • RAiD (Research Activity Identifier): for research projects and activities
  • ROR (Research Organisation Registry): for organisations or institutions

When to use a persistent identifier:

Persistent identifiers (PiDs) are the easiest way of linking items together, such as a dataset to a related publication. To complete a research data management plan, you are required to register for a RAiD to identify your research project. This identifier enables the University to trace a project across faculties, forms and systems. An ORCiD is required by some grant funders, and is also needed to process the registration for RAiDs. At the publication stage of your project, a DOI will be minted for your dataset should you deposit it in the University's ResearchOnline or other repository. Whilst an individual researcher is unlikely to use a ROR, all of the PiD registries listed above use it as an essential piece of metadata.



ResearchData@ND is an online interactive tool that was designed for a workflow that incorporates not only the RDMP component, but also dataset management and publishing components. There are 3 'forms' that make up the the tool*:

  1. Research Data Management Plan (RDMP): An RDMP is created by a researcher, which may be edited as needed and can be exported as a report at any stage.
  2. Dataset Record: Once a body/set/collection of interesting data has been produced, a researcher may create a Dataset Record for that data. This Dataset Record may be used for a variety of purposes: to inform the institution of the dataset, to archive it, or to publish it.
  3. Publication Record: To publish a paper with an associated dataset, a researcher should create a Publication Record which references one (or part of a) research dataset.

 *It is worth noting that all forms contain some fields that may have auto-prompt or auto-fill enabled, so less typing is necessary.

None of the content on the ResearchData@ND platform is publicly visible, and may be updated at any point during the project, thereby creating a new 'version'. Copies of the completed forms may be printed to PDF at any time.

One of the main benefits of ResearchData@ND as an online interactive and iterative tool is that it will enable auto-provisioning of services and machine to machine functionality. Some of its features are to:

  • manage the allocation of storage for large datasets
  • prompt requests for minting research persistent identifiers, such as DOIs and Research Activity Identifiers (RAiD)
  • integrate with IRMA for researcher and grant information to enable auto-population of certain fields
  • integrate with the institutional repository, ResearchOnline@ND, and Research Data Australia (RDA) to enable publication and discovery of datasets and/or metadata

To create an RDMP, on the ResearchData@ND homepage, click on the Create RDMP link under Plan in the toolbar, or the tile near the bottom of the window. Most of the fields in the plan have help text behind the question mark icon, and include links to guidance or further information. To save a plan, you will need to fill out the mandated (asterisked) fields. If you are unsure about your response to a field, please make your best guess, save and return to it later with corrected information.

A Dataset Record is a non-public metadata record of the research data and information generated as part of the research project. It includes the ability to add attachments or note the storage location of complete (not active) data. Creating a dataset record helps to ensure that you (via the RDMP) and the University can meet the data governance responsibilities as required by the Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, by being able to locate and access the data as required. The dataset record captures information describing your dataset, including any documentation necessary to understand or reproduce the research (such as survey questions, data dictionaries, codebooks and transcripts).

A dataset record may be useful in the following scenarios:

  • Depositing a non-sensitive dataset into an accessible location at the university
  • Creating the final archive record for submission to the institutional archiving platform

Completing a dataset record will:

  • Make it easier for you to find data even after long periods of time have elapsed;
  • Ensure the integrity of your research methods and findings; and
  • Ensure researchers are compliant with Notre Dame’s Code of Conduct for Research, that is, retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research including research data and primary materials.

Where possible, and appropriate, you should allow access and reference to the datasets by interested parties via mediated means if necessary. You should have noted this in the RDMP.

Note: Some of the metadata fields can be auto-filled from your related RDMP, saving double entry. See the Auto-filling your forms tab in this section.

Published data should also be archived for open, mediated or closed access as determined by the data owner. Data can be uploaded via the process within the Dataset Record, or alternatively log a ticket with the IT Service Portal and organise to have your data archived.

Submit your Dataset Record to IT via the following form:

Publishing and sharing your data helps to promote your research, enables re-use by others and can lead to new collaborations. Published datasets also attract data citations. An increasing number of funders and journal publishers require research data to be published and shared in a repository.

The Publication Record section will assist you to develop a Data Publication record which enables your dataset to be submitted to ResearchOnline@ND for publication, and also to Research Data Australia (RDA) for discoverability. The conditions determined by the data owner around confidentiality of the data will inform how the dataset record displays in ResearchOnline@ND - for example if it is sensitive, the dataset will not be made available for download, and information regarding the conditions for mediated access will be included.

The Dataset Collection in ResearchOnline@ND publishes open data, provides a data citation, assigns a DOI permanent identifier, and adds a Creative Commons license nominated by the Data owners. The data citation and DOI can then be provided to a publisher where the data underpins a research output, and publication readers will be able to view the dataset and/or the conditions around it's access and reuse.

Once the dataset has been added to ResearchOnline@ND, Research Data Australia (RDA) will automatically receive the metadata from the publication record. Including metadata relating to your dataset in RDA (Australia's national data portal) will make it more discoverable and citable. RDA will not store or upload your dataset, but will link instead to the repository where you have chosen to publish it.

*When completing the Publication Record form, please keep in mind that the intention is for a reader to find and use your data. Published data should also be archived for open, mediated or closed access as determined by the data owner.


Publication Record - Specify coverage page

The publication record contains fields in the Specify coverage page to add and define geospatial information if needed. For instructions on how to use the embedded map tool, please see the spatial coverage help document linked below.

For efficiency and convenience, the Dataset Record and Publication Record may be auto-filled from other forms in ResearchData@ND:

  • The Research Data Management Planning (RDMP) form can auto-fill elements of the Dataset Record form
  • The Dataset Record form can auto-fill elements of the Publication Record form


Creating a Dataset Record from the Research Data Management Plan (RDMP)

A Dataset Record will assist researchers in requesting University-approved archive storage for a research project's data and related documents (see Policy: Research Data Management), and is also required for publishing datasets and documentation to the University's institutional repository, ResearchOnline@ND.

Following completion of the RDMP, you can conveniently create a Dataset Record within ResearchData@ND, noting that many of the fields in the Dataset Record will auto-fill from the RDMP. To do this, please ensure you follow these steps:

  1. Having completed and saved the RDMP, go to the Plan tab in the gold navigation bar. Click the dropdown arrow and choose View & Update RDMP
  2. Select the relevant RDMP from those listed to create a Dataset Record
  3. At the top of the landing page of the selected RDMP, click the blue button: Create a data record from this plan
  4. You should now have opened a new Dataset Record, and many of the fields will be auto-populated.
  5. Continue on and save all the mandated (asterisked) fields before you save (note: if you close or move away from the form before you have filled out the mandated fields and saved, then the entire form will be lost. You will need to start again from (1) above).

Creating a Publication Record from the Dataset Record

A Publication Record is required to submit data to publish in the institutional repository, ResearchOnline@ND. Following completion of the Dataset Record, you should then create a Publication Record (also located in ResearchData@ND), noting that many of the fields in the Dataset Record will auto-fill in the Publication Record. To do this, please ensure you follow these steps:

  1. Having completed and saved the Dataset Record, go to the Dataset Record tab in the gold navigation bar. Click the dropdown arrow and choose View and Update Dataset Record
  2. Select the relevant Dataset Record from those listed to create a Publication Record
  3. At the top of the selected Dataset Record landing page, click the blue button: Create a data publication from this record
  4. You should now have opened a new Publication Record, and many of the fields will be populated.
  5. Continue on and save all the mandated (asterisked) fields before you save (note: if you close or move away from the form before you have filled out the mandated fields and saved, then the entire form will be lost. You will need to start again from (1) above).

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