Target audience and mission

This tour guide was written for social science researchers who are in an early stage of practising research data management. With this tour guide, CESSDA wants to contribute to increased professionalism in data management and to improving the value of research data.


If you follow the guide, you will travel through the research data lifecycle from planning, organising, documenting, processing, storing and protecting your data to sharing and publishing them. Taking the whole roundtrip will take you approximately 15 hours. You can also just hop on and off.

During your travels, you will come across the following recurring topics represented by images:


As the data management plan (DMP) is an important tool to structure the research data management of your project, it plays a central role in this tour guide. Each chapter ends with a section with questions which are generally to be answered in a DMP. In the chapter's paragraphs you will be presented with the information you need to answer the proposed questions.

We have designed a list of DMP-questions especially for this Expert tour guide on Data Management. You can view and download it (CESSDA, 2017) and keep it as a reference while you are studying the contents of this guide.


If you see this image, you have landed on a spot where you will learn about European diversity in data management. E.g., think of diversity in:

  • Funder requirements in making your Data Management Plan
  • Data protection law
  • Informed consent
  • Ethical review
  • The requirements of local data repositories

In each chapter, you will find our expert holding up a hand to give you some tips. These expert tips aim to provide you with food for thought and practical how-to information.


To give you in-depth tips on how to deal with your own specific type of data, chapters may contain examples of how to handle quantitative or qualitative data.

The tour operator on the left showcases expertise in quantitative data management, while the one on the right hand side illustrates qualitative data management.

Six chapters

The following six chapters are currently available. Click on an icon to visit the appropriate chapter. Note that the chapter on 'data discovery' will be available in the second half of 2018.

Get started

To get started with the first tour, simply click the button below.

Project details

The Expert Tour Guide on Data Management is created for CESSDA by ADP, AUSSDA, CSDA, DANS, FORS, FSD, GESIS, NSD, SND, So.Da.Net and UKDS and is illustrated and edited by Verbeeldingskr8. The authors are mentioned by name in the overview of the relevant chapter(s). DANS was in the lead of creating this tour guide.

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  • Ellen Leenarts (DANS) | Project leader

    Having a background in learning and knowledge sharing it was a great pleasure to coordinate the creation of this Expert Tour Guide.