Forecasting Data Costs for Biomedical Data Preservation

A data management plan is a formal document outlining how you will handle your data both during your research and after the project is completed. While writing this plan, and most importantly while preparing your grant application, it’s important to think through the long-term costs that might be associated with managing and preserving data throughout its life-cycle and the resources needed (both physical and personnel) to do so.

A new consensus study report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine titled “Life-Cycle Decisions for Biomedical Data: The Challenge of Forecasting Costs” may be useful to researchers trying to accomplish this task. The report provides a framework to “help researchers identify and think through the major decisions in forecasting life-cycle costs for preserving, archiving, and promoting access to biomedical data.”

In addition to the report there are many other valuable tools/guides linked under the “resources” tab on the National Academies Press page. Of particular interest are:

Also addressed/highlighted in the report:

  • Assessing the value of data: “The value of a single data set reflects factors such as its uniqueness, the number of times it is used, the cost per use, and the impact of reuse.”
  • Potential disruptors to forecasting costs: “Disruptors may be positive or negative and may raise or lower the cost of data management and preservation.”
  • Salary ranges for jobs relevant to the data life-cycle, including IT project managers, IT systems engineers, research domain curators, and data librarians.

For questions about writing a data management plan or using the framework, contact HSLS Data Services.

~Melissa Ratajeski