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Research Data Management

The Cost of Data Management

What will it cost to manage and share my data? 

Research Data Management (RDM) is considered a legitimate cost by most funders. As such, RDM should be accounted for in your budget.  By identifying RDM costs before you begin the project, you will be able to request adequate funds to support good data management and enable data sharing. This guide will help you determine possible expenses to expect throughout the research project. Costs will depend on various factors including the volume of data you are working with, the security level needed for potentially sensitive data, the level of documentation and the length of preservation required (Openaire, RDM Costs). 

Quick Tips:
  • By planning early, costs can be significantly reduced. 
  • A Data Management Plan (DMP) can help to identify activities and potential costs at the outset of your project. 
  • Consider both infrastructure costs and skills costs (see below).


Estimating RDM Costs

Consult this list of RDM activities that may involve a cost in your research project. For a detailed description and cost estimate for each, take a look at our RDM Costing Tool. 

Infrastructure Costs:
  • Digitisation
  • Storage
  • Licensing and Security
  • Sharing and Re-use
  • Archiving 
Skills Costs:
  • Data wrangling
  • Description and Documentation
  • Metadata generation
  • Formatting and Cleaning 
  • Consent and Anonymization 
Personnel Costs:
  • Will you hire a Research Assistant or Research Coordinator to support your data management activities?

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