Several funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, now have requirements for data management plans to be submitted as part of some, or all (depending on the agency) grant proposals. However, even if your funding agency does not require a data management plan, creating one will assist you in managing your research.
The following reasons to manage and publish your data were created by MIT Libraries (thank you for permission to re-use the content):
Reasons to Manage and Publish Your Data
- Increase the visibility of your research: Making your data available to other researchers through widely-searched repositories can increase your prominence and demonstrate continued use of the data and relevance of your research.
- Save time: Planning for your data management needs ahead of time will save you time and resources in the long run.
- Simplify your life: Enabling a repository to house and disseminate your data lets you focus on your research rather than responding to requests or worrying about data that may be housed on your web site.
- Preserve your data: Only by depositing your data in a repository can you be sure that they will be available to you and other researchers in the long-term. Doing so safeguards your investment of time and resources (including any work done for you by graduate students) and preserves your unique contribution to research.
- Increase your research efficiency: Have you ever had a hard time understanding the data that you or your colleagues have collected? Documenting your data throughout its life cycle saves time because it ensures that in the future you and others will be able to understand and use your data.
- Documentation: Managing and documenting your data throughout its life cycle ensures that the integrity and proper description of your data are maintained.
- Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies now require that researchers deposit in an archive data which they collect as part of a research project.
- Facilitate new discoveries: Enabling other researchers to use your data reinforces open scientific inquiry and can lead to new and unanticipated discoveries. And doing so prevents duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data rather than trying to gather the data themselves.
- Support Open Access: Researchers are becoming increasingly more aware of the need to manage their work and consider issues of scholarly communication. The Open Data movement advocates for researchers to share their data in order to foster the development of knowledge.