Full-Length Paper

From Plan to Action: Successful Data Management Plan Implementation in a Multidisciplinary Project

  • Margaret H Burnette (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Sarah C. Williams (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Heidi J. Imker (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Objective and Setting: While data management planning becomes more commonplace, moving from planning into implementation remains a hurdle for many researchers. With little specific guidance from funding agencies and libraries in the early stages of developing services to assist researchers, insights into what contributes to successful data management are sorely needed. The objective of this study was to document how a multidisciplinary research team, after consultation with the University of Illinois Library, took steps to implement a data management plan.

Design and Methods: A case study was designed to gather insights from the research group through semi-structured interviews. Questions focused on which of the recommended data management strategies were adopted and how those strategies affected the project in terms of cost, time, effectiveness, and long-term data use.

Results: From these interviews five major themes emerged as important: intentional staffing, addressing essential data management elements, iterative improvement, training and mentorship, and increased efficiency and peace of mind.

Conclusions: Despite the initial investment that data management requires, researchers report significant benefits.

Keywords: RDM, data management service, faculty, outreach, academic libraries, consultation, assessment

How to Cite:

Burnette, M. H., Williams, S. C. & Imker, H. J., (2016) “From Plan to Action: Successful Data Management Plan Implementation in a Multidisciplinary Project”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 5(1): 6. doi: https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2016.1101

Rights: Copyright © 2016 The Author(s).

Publisher Notes

  • The HTML and PDF versions of this article were corrected on December 10, 2017 to change the Creative Commons license from CC BY-NC-SA to CC BY at the author's request.

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Published on
16 Sep 2016