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Costing Research Data Management

Costing Research Data Management

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Data management activity needs to be costed into research as it occurs both during and after a project. RDM activity may include preparing data and metadata for deposit, to transcription and software services. Early planning of data management can help identify and potentially reduce costs in the long term.

Funding

Check your funder's policy on data management to see if it is clear whether RDM costs can be included in grant applications.

Estimating

Colleagues at UCL have outlined five key questions to estimate RDM costs:

  1. what does your funder require you to mention in your data management plan?
  2. what are the likely sizes and formats of data that you will create?
  3. where will you store the data during the project?
  4. how and when will you describe your data?
  5. what is the chosen long-term archiving and sharing for the data after the project?

Budgeting tools

The UK Data Archive have created a tool to cost RDM activity needed to make data shareable above standard research procedures, measured by:

  • identifying all data management activities and steps required to make data shareable, e.g. based on a data management checklist
  • costing each activity in terms of people's time or the physical resources needed such as hardware or software

Digital storage costs

The University will provide up to 1TB of shared file storage per project. Storage above this provision should be costed at £96.80 per TB per annum. To discuss your project’s requirements and available solutions please contact your local School Computing Officer or the IT Service Desk.

The storage provided is intended for use by project personnel during the project's lifetime. It is not appropriate to archive research data here and you will need to ensure you have plans for the data at project end.

High Performance Computing: Rocket

The University offers a high performance computing (HPC) service, 'Rocket', that is open to staff and students who need its scale to accommodate their computations.  HPC file storage options are summarised at https://services.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/research/hpc/hardware/.  The 500TB Lustre filestore on this service may be used to hold large datasets in active use on the HPC service; other solutions should be sought to back up important files and for longer-term storage. There is no explicit charge for filestore usage or I/O on the HPC service.