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Data Management Plans

This guide provides resources to assist WSU faculty members and students who are creating strategies for storing, describing, and providing access to their research data.

Questions to Consider

As you are considering how to share your data, the following guiding questions may prove useful (with thanks to the Cornell Research Data Management Service Group):
  • What are conditions for reuse of your data by others including any licenses that will be applied?
  • Are you using data from another source? If so, what are restrictions on sharing that data?
  • How will the data be managed to protect privacy?
  • What are legal and ethical requirements that may preclude sharing of any of your data?
  • Do copyright protections extend to your data? Consider university/funder policy. 
  • Is your data licensed under Creative Commons or Open Data Commons?
  • Does commercialization potential preclude data sharing at this time? Trade secrets or commercial information may be exempt from federal requirements around data sharing.

Intellectual Property

When making decisions about how to share your data, be aware that intellectual property and ownership of these materials can be complex. You will want to determine whether you, the university, or a funder owns the data produced in the course of research. You may, therefore, wish to consult the following in addition to your department's or college's policies:

Licensing Data

After you have established ownership over your data, you may wish to next consider how to share it with others. Should you wish to share your data widely, it is recommended that you use a license to indicate how the data can be used. The following resources may help you as you consider:

Citing Data

Increasingly, the academic community regards datasets as significant, standalone pieces of scholarly work. As a result, it is recommended that you cite datasets as you would books or articles.

For more information, you might consult DataCite or the UK's Digital Curation Centre or ICPSR's guidelines for citing data. At minimum, you should include the following in your citation:

  • author(s) or creator(s)
  • title
  • date of publication
  • publisher or the data archive hosting the data set
  • location (including URL or identifier if the data set is online)

Identifying Authorship: ORCIDs

Many researchers share the same name, while others have different names during their careers or different variations of the same name. As a result of these ambiguities, you may find that your research data loses some visibility, since it is more difficult to link it to your other research.

ORCID--Open Researcher and Contributor ID--provides one solution to this problem by assigning a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and by supporting automated linkages between you and your professional activities. You can sign up for an ORCID by visiting the ORCID registration page.

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