Ensure you have an ORCID identifier prior to the commencement of your research process.


Developing a data plan early in the research process saves time at the completion end of your project and helps to maintain best practice across all the elements of the research cycle. Your plan helps you to meet university requirements and to start thinking about the practical applications of each point in this checklist.

A data plan should be a living document.





  • what data will be created?


  • what expectations (funding, institutional, policy) apply to your data
    • for example: ethics, legal compliance, copyright and licensing ownership, access to and protection of intellectual property

Digital Documentation

  • methods and capture:
    • think about file structure and naming conventions - are they understandable to others and /or will you be able to recognise them if your data becomes complex and extensive?
    • use open source file types - plan to ensure that data is accessible in the future  
    • data description - make data discoverable by adding adequate descriptive information (see Metadata Standards) and keywords.


  • which data will be kept or discarded?
  • how will it be prepared (organised or contextualised) for storage?


  • do you have an effective backup system?


  • where to publish? university repository, journals, catalogues, institutional publications?
    • will you make your data publicly available?

    • data access and dissemination?

    • licensing for reuse in other platforms, publications, collections?


  • is your data likely to be reused in the future (for teaching or research and potential basis for new work)?



  • archiving for longevity and visibility
    • institutional research archives

Australian National Data Service


Example plans and more detailed information are available through the Australian National Data Service (DATA PLAN GUIDE) or create your plan using a Google Doc table format: enter the key elements from the data planning checklist.

 Robert Andrew  Corrupting The Linear  2016. Technology, aluminium, string and rocks.

Robert Andrew Corrupting The Linear 2016. Technology, aluminium, string and rocks.