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Data Management:  Home

Data Management Planning

Data Management

Research Data Management

Good practice in data management is required to maintain reliable and accurate data throughout the data's lifecycle. Good data management will also facilitate data re-use after completion of the project and enable others to replicate research outcomes into the future. Raising awareness of good practice for data management starts with planning.


Data Management Statements for Grant Application Forms

Data Management Plans

Data Management Checklist

Data Management Dashboard

Data Management Dashboard

The Data Management Dashboard is an online tool for your Data Management Plans (DMPs), your Data Archival records (tell the university about your data and its locaiton at the end of your project) and online services to publish your datasets. 



Coming in 2020


Plan your Research Project

  • Online Data Management Plan (DMP) tool
  • Meets the requirements for the Research Code, UON Guidelines and funder DM statements e.g. ARC Discovery Grants
  • Easy to use web forms
  • Update, edit, revisit anytime
  • PDF export of your DMP

Manage Data

  • Create a record of your archival dataset at the end of your project
  • Auto populates information from existing DMP
  • Describe your data and record its location

Publish and Share your Data

  • Publish and share data 
  • Auto populates information from existing archival record
  • Auto assign a DOI persistent identifier to enable your data to be cited
  • Apply Creative Commons licencing to your data
  • Publishes your data record to the NOVA Open Access Repository and Research Data Australia

Under the Engine

  • Powered by ReDBox
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Single Sign On enabled (SSO)
  • RIF-CS compliant
  • Auto generates MARC and DC
  • OAI-PMH compliant

Data Management statements for Grant Application Forms

Grant Applications
Preparing a data management statement

The following information is provided to assist in the development of a statement to address data management planning for your research project in completing your grant application form. A data management (DM) statement can be drafted based on responding to the following prompts in relation to your data and your project. The statement can include on:

  1. Describing data
  2. Storing data
  3. Publishing data
  4. Re-using data

As a guide, responses to the following prompts are intended to produce approximately two to three paragraphs of text.


Data Management Outline

What to include in your statement

Describe your Data


Describe the data that will be collected, generated or created during the project including how the details of how the data will be generated. Describe the characteristics and feature of the data, i.e. what type/s of data.  Also outline the approximate volume/quantity of data you may generate.

Data storage


Provide details of where will you store your data during the project (working data) and on completion of your project (archival data). Are there any specific data storage issues that will need to be managed?

UON has a number of research data storage options for working data and provides data storage for archival data when you publish your data.

Publishing your Data


A statement on your intent to archive and/or publish your data on completion of the project. Outline where and how your archived data be published.

UON provides services to archive and publish your research data. Other external options include subject or discipline specific data repositories. <Link for more info on services and help>

Re-use of your data


A statement outlining if your data can/can’t be shared and re-used by others. If relevant, include details of intent to apply a Creative Commons licence (AUSGOAL) to facilitate sharing and re-use.

Refer to AUSGOAL licensing



Note : Successful grant applications may require a full data management plan, as opposed to the above outline or statement. The Library provides data management plan templates along with advice and assistance to help write your Data Management Plan (DMP).


Data Management Plans

Data Management Plans

A data management plan is a document outlining how research data and associated materials will be managed, stored, documented and secured throughout a research project as well as planning for what will happen to the data and materials after completion of the project. This includes retention and disposal, archiving, accessing, sharing or publishing the data, and any conditions or restrictions for sharing the data. The plan is intended to provide descriptive details of the data, the processes, decisions, as well as identifying roles and responsibilities.

The following templates are provided to assist with the development of a data management plan. The templates address the main broad issues for consideration during the planning stage, for example:

  • data that will be produced or created
  • documentation about the data, metadata, and any supporting information
  • arrangements for data storage, security and backup including: location, processes, frequencies and responsibilities
  • ethics, copyright and IP considerations and requirements
  • arrangements for access, sharing and re-use of the data
  • retention and disposal arrangements including any legislative requirements
  • arrangements for preservation and archiving of the data to ensure access over time

Data Management Plan – Template (version 1)

Version 1 of the template is based on a format of 56 short question and answers covering the broad areas of data management that are identified above. The author can determine the amount of information to include, however addressing all relevant issues will create a more robust data management plan.

Data Management Plan – Template (version 2)

Version 2 of the template is based on a format of 8 broad multi-dimensional questions requiring descriptive responses. The author can determine the level of detail for inclusion.

Data Management Checklist

Data Management Checklist

The Data Management Checklist is based on the above Data Management Plans. The checklist provides an alternative method to using the formal templates and allows the author to develop their own data management plan by identifying the issues that need decisions and relevant information to be captured and documented.

File Formats

File Formats

File formats are an important consideration in managing research data.

To ensure usability of and access to your data over the course of time you need to determine that durable file formats are utilised. This encompasses the life cycle of a research project as well as for long term access that may be required, to meet a data retention period, after completion of a research project.

Not all file formats are durable over time or compatible with the need to share data with others. There is also a distinction between the types of file formats that are optimal for presentation versus those optimal for preservation and longer term access.

Considerations include:

  • Use of open formats versus use of proprietary formats
  • Availability of the file format specifications
  • The software required to support the format, now and into the future
  • The capabilities of different formats
  • Short term access versus long term access and digital preservation
  • How you plan to analyse, manipulate, distribute and store the data
  • Current and future use of the data

The National Library of the Netherlands suggests the following criteria when evaluating file formats for long term preservation:

  • Openness
  • Adoption
  • Complexity
  • Technical protection Mechanism (DRM)
  • Self-documentation
  • Robustness
  • Dependencies

Source : Selecting file formats for long term preservation. The National Archives. 2008.

Determining an Appropriate File Format

Long Term Preservation

There are a number of resources available to assist you in determining an appropriate file format for your data. The following table, prepared by the UK Data Archive contains data formats identified by the Archive as optimal for long term preservation of data to the Archive. These can serve as a guide.

Type of data Acceptable formats for sharing, reuse and preservation Other acceptable formats for data preservation

Quantitative tabular data with extensive metadata

a dataset with variable labels, code labels, and defined missing values, in addition to the matrix of data

SPSS portable format (.por)

delimited text and command ('setup') file (SPSS, Stata, SAS, etc.) containing metadata information

some structured text or mark-up file containing metadata information, e.g. DDI XML file
proprietary formats of statistical packages e.g. SPSS (.sav), Stata (.dta)
MS Access (.mdb/.accdb)

Quantitative tabular data with minimal metadata

a matrix of data with or without column headings or variable names, but no other metadata or labelling

comma-separated values (CSV) file (.csv)

tab-delimited file (.tab)

including delimited text of given character set with SQL data definition statements where appropriate

delimited text of given character set - only characters not present in the data should be used as delimiters (.txt)

widely-used formats, e.g. MS Excel (.xls/.xlsx), MS Access (.mdb/.accdb), dBase (.dbf) and OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods)

Geospatial data

vector and raster data

ESRI Shapefile (essential - .shp, .shx, .dbf, optional - .prj, .sbx, .sbn)

geo-referenced TIFF (.tif, .tfw)

CAD data (.dwg)

tabular GIS attribute data

ESRI Geodatabase format (.mdb)

MapInfo Interchange Format (.mif) for vector data

Keyhole Mark-up Language (KML) (.kml)

Adobe Illustrator (.ai), CAD data (.dxf or .svg)

binary formats of GIS and CAD packages

Qualitative data


eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML) text according to an appropriate Document Type Definition (DTD) or schema (.xml)

Rich Text Format (.rtf)

plain text data, ASCII (.txt)

Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) (.html)

widely-used proprietary formats, e.g. MS Word (.doc/.docx)

some proprietary/software-specific formats, e.g. NUD*IST, NVivo and ATLAS.ti

Digital image data TIFF version 6 uncompressed (.tif)

JPEG (.jpeg, .jpg) but only if created in this format

TIFF (other versions) (.tif, .tiff)

Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF/A, PDF) (.pdf)

standard applicable RAW image format (.raw)

Photoshop files (.psd)
Digital audio data Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) (.flac)

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (.mp3) but only if created in this format

Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) (.aif)

Waveform Audio Format (WAV) (.wav)
Digital video data

MPEG-4 (.mp4)

motion JPEG 2000 (.mj2)
Documentation and scripts Rich Text Format (.rtf)
PDF/A or PDF (.pdf)
HTML (.htm)
OpenDocument Text (.odt)

plain text (.txt)

some widely-used proprietary formats, e.g. MS Word (.doc/.docx) or MS Excel (.xls/.xlsx)

XML marked-up text (.xml) according to an appropriate DTD or schema, e.g. XHMTL 1.0

Source : UK Data Archive :

Useful Software, Systems and Sites

Zena. Software for Digital Preservation.

National Archives of Australia.

Xena software aids digital preservation by performing two important tasks:

  • Detecting the file formats of digital objects
  • Converting digital objects into open formats for preservation.

PRONOM - The Technical Registry

Developed by the Digital Preservation Department of the UK National Archives, PRONOM provides authoritative information about data file formats and supporting software products including technical requirements and support lifecycles. Users can search by file format extension, name of software, vendor or keyword.

Library of Congress. Sustainability of File formats

This website provides a browsable alphabetical list of desciptions of file formats, file format classes, bitstream structures and encodings along with inforamtion on compression of files or bitstreams.

Global Digital Format Registry. Available in January 2012

A collaborative project between Harvard University Library, National Archives and Record Administration and Online Library Computer Centre (OCLC).

Recommendations for File and Directory Names - Digital Presentation Program, Harvard University Library (pdf)

Developed as part of a broader program providing guidance on the creation of digital content and preservation for future generations.

Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography

From the Digital Scholarship website covering digital copyright, digital curation, digital repositories, open access, scholarly communication, and other digital information issues.

Additional Resources

Additional Resource Guides for File formats

UK Data Archive. Managing and sharing Data (file formats p. 11.)

DDC. Digital Curation Manual. File Formats.

Selecting file formats for long term preservation. The National Archives. 2008

Library of Congress. Sustainability of File formats

National Library of Australia. Preserving Access to Digital Information

Cambridge University. (2011).Common Image Formats: what to use when.

JISC Digital Media (2011).Still images, moving images and sound advice.

File Formats – Working Level. ANDS Guide

PDF Files for long term preservation

A format for digital preservation of images. A study on JPEG2000 File robustness.
DLib Magazine. July/August 2008. Vol. 14, number 7/8.



Find UoN Data

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Research Technology Catalogue - A guide developed by UoN Academic Research Computing Support listing tools, technologies and services to support researchers at the University of Newcastle.