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Research Data Management

Wider access to scientific facts and knowledge helps researchers, innovators and the public find and re-use data and check research results. It offers better value for  research funds and encourages research across scientific fields. As a result, many research funders now require that research data be managed according to FAIR principles and encourage open sharing of data wherever possible.

What about costs?

Costs associated with making research data open are often eligible for funding and may be included in your grant proposal.

Which repository?

Most funders don't require you to use a specific repository, you may deposit data where you wish, provided the data corresponds with the FAIR principles i.e., they are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Please ensure that your dataset/s are entered in your TCD RSS profile including the grant number and funder name and use TARA, if appropriate, as your data repository or provide a link in the RSS to an external repository. A list of other trusted repositories is available at Re3data. If there is no disciplinary repository available for your data and if it is not suitable for TARA, you can use the Zenodo repository, provided by OpenAIRE and hosted by CERN.

What if I can't make my data available for commercial, ethical or other reasons?

You can opt out of making all or part of your research data available openly. Your reasons should be stated in your proposal and in subsequent Data Management Plans. There are many reasons why data may not be suitable for sharing. Some common reasons for opting out are:

  • Privacy and data protection issues
  • Intellectual Property
  • Jeopardising the project's main objectives

Data management at the proposal stage

Many funders require a short, general outline of the policy for data management to be included in your proposal. The information included should cover:

  • What types of data will the project generate/collect?
  • What standards will be used?
  • How will this data be exploited and/or shared/made accessible for verification and re-use. If data cannot be made available, explain why.
  • How will this data be curated and preserved?

Using the DMPOnline tool and examining sample Data Management plans, even at the proposal stage, will help you to answer the questions above. See below for more details.


Many funders require that data be managed in line with the FAIR principles. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable:

  • Findable: It should be as easy as possible for people to find your data online.
  • Accessible: People and machines should be able to access your data. Metadata should be accessible even if data is not open.
  • Interoperable: Data and metadata should conform to recognised formats and standards so they can be integrated with other data.
  • Reusable: Data should have clear documentation and should include a clear usage license so that others know how they can reuse the data

When writing a DMP, you should address how you plan to address each of the FAIR principles.

Guidance for completing a Data Management Plan

The DMPOnline tool provides an excellent, free template for the drafting of your  DMP and is strongly recommended. This useful resource allows you to create, store and share a DMP. DMPOnline offers templates to meet the requirements of many funders, and these DMP templates take you through the questions asked by the funder and provides additional contextual guidance from the DCC (Digital Curation Centre).
The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has produced an extremely useful guide How to Develop a Data Management Plan that will help with writing both the short outline at proposal stage and the longer DMP. Their Checklist for a Data Management Plan is also very helpful in breaking down the elements required for a DMP.
The DMP will change during the project and should be kept updated. Producing a DMP is good practice for all research projects and will help to ensure that research data are secure and well-maintained during the project and beyond when the data might be shared with others.

Sample Data Management Plans

A number of examples of data management plans are available from the DCC website, including examples from different disciplines (and different funders).

How can I get help?

The Library's Research Informatics team will be happy to discuss your Data Management Plan with you, both at the proposal stage and for the full DMP if required. Contact: Niamh Brennan.
IT Services have a Research IT team who can advise on technical solutions around storing and working with research data. Contact: Darach Golden.
Your School Ethics Committee should be consulted in relation to matters associated with research ethics.
The Research Development Office provides proposal development support. Contact
Training in Research Data Management is available for postgraduate research students via the module Research Integrity and Impact in an Open Scholarship Era. A version of this module that has been adapted for staff, RIO, will be made available via Blackboard in August 2023. For more information about either module, please contact

Further information