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AHRC announces new Data Management Plan

Our latest blog finds Nisha Patel updating us on the AHRC’s plans to introduce a new Data Management Plan. This essential component of the AHRC Research Grant application will replace the old Technical Plan later this year.

Data has changed a lot since the AHRC was established in 2005

It’s official. Plans first mooted in 2017 have finally been announced. The AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) have confirmed the news that a new Data Management Plan (DMP), which will replace the Technical Plan, will take effect from 29th March 2018.  This will be mandatory for all AHRC Research Grants, Follow on Funding and Leadership Fellows proposals and will move in line with other Research Councils.

So why change to a Digital Management Plan now?

Firstly, the digital world is changing. An update was needed to the old Technical Plan, and the AHRC have duly deliverd. The majority of the technical plans are now not discussing digital methodologies, but are instead covering all bases of the computerised world in which we live. A situation that was not the case 10 years ago when the technical plan was created. The AHRC have said that only a few technical plans per year discuss proposals that are inherently technical in nature. And so the Data Management Plan was born.

The DCC have produced a snappy video to give you an overview that can be viewed here

The AHRC Technical College has also become unsustainable and they have been trying to raise the numbers of technical reviewers for a number of years now unsuccessfully.  They simply cannot get enough technical reviewers to carry out reviews which is extending processing times considerably. So, instead of just seeking a technical reviewer, AHRC will ensure that there are reviewers on the proposal who will be appropriate to carry out the review.

The Data Management Plan should outline the project’s approach to managing data (rather than just digital outputs or new technologies) and state the types of data which will be created by the research.  The latest information can be found at the AHRC’s website.

Of course, The University of Edinburgh’s Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is on hand to help! They have provided some nice and thorough information and updates for you to take a look at. 

The DCC have also helpfully added a new template over at their website.

What Data Services are available to researchers at the University of Edinburgh?

Here at the University of Edinburgh, the Research Data Service offers a suite of tools and support that helps staff, during and after their project. They also offer a range of training programmes on using data and on research data management (RDM): scheduled workshops, online courses, all that sort of stuff.

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) provides expert advice and practical help if you are wanting to store, manage, protect and share digital research data – DMPonline is the DCC’S data management planning tool that provides tailored guidance and examples to help you write a Technical Plan. DCC offers an abundance of guidance and examples, checklists, FAQ’s, samples, etc.

Nisha Patel is Research Support Advisor for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences within the Research Support Office.



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