Preparing for a project

By thinking about data management before the start of your research project you will have the opportunity to provide necessary funds for your research (including extra funding for proper data management), you can avoid all kind problems during your research and you will save time at the end of the project.  Already available data, a Data Management Plan (DMP), the DMPonline tool, good practices or workshops can help you prepare your project.

What's a Data Management Plan?

According to Ghent University: "A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a formal document which specifies how research data will be managed during and after a specific research project. [...]"


A good preparation is always important in scientific research.  A data management plan will help reduce data security risks, enhance efficiency during the project and will help save time in all phases of the project.  Research institutions and funders will be able to see that you attach great importance to scientific integrity and enhance their trust in you as a researcher.  A DMP will also facilitate other researchers to understand and interpret your data correctly.

But it's impossible to plan everything beforehand and that is why a DMP is called a 'living document'.  You can adjust or add information for the duration of the research project.


The University Library has developed an online tool which makes it easy to create a data management plan. It's based on DMPonline tool created by the Digital Curation Centre (UK).

This tool will help you create your DMP by making you answer a series of specific questions.  These questions are about:

  • Collecting/generating the data necessary for your researcg (Type, volume, method, etc.)
  • Describing your data (metadata)
  • Legal of ethical restrictions regarding your data (IPR, licenses, informed consent that also includes data management, - storage, -archiving and -sharing).
  • Storage and back up strategy for your data
  • Data selection, archiving and preservation at the end of your project
  • Data sharing (with colleagues, general public, etc.)

In preparation for your DMP you can use this template to have the necessary information to fill in your DMP.

When you have answered as much of the questions as possible you can export the document (xml, pdf) or you can save it to work on at another time. 

If you need any help while writing your DMP you can contact the facultary research data officer

DMP Checklist and examples




If necessary the faculty library can organize a workshop on how to use DMPonline.

For more information please contact .

Government data

There are several repositories providing government data such as the statistical data from, NBB.stat, the EU Open Data Portal or the UK Data Service.

Economic research data

Or you can find economic research data via Zenodo (EU, CERN), FRED (Federal Reserve St. Louis) and ALFRED, the Gesis Datorium (Leibniz), CESSDA

or you find other repositories via

Data citation

The IPR rules aplly also for datasets and it's a matter of research ethics to:

Copyright licenses

When you use secundary data provided by organisations like OECD or open data shared by other researchers for reuse keep in mind:

Make sure the informed consent used for this dataset is applicable for your research too.