Costing research data management before the project starts is useful in two ways: in the first place, it is recommended that you specify the cost of your data management plan and include the appropriate resources in your budget; in the second place, specifying costs for datamanagement can help generating additional means when applying for a research fund. There are two approaches to estimate costing:
- Estimating costs for all data related activities (data collection, data processing, data analysis, data sharing and data management);
- Estimating only additional costs that are necessary for data management and data sharing procedures and go beyond the costs of standard procedures in research projects.
The UK Data Archive (2012) provides a checklist for the latter approach. Its costing tool considers, for example, the following aspects: planning and organization, staff training, costs for specific software or documents, formatting, organizing, processing, and documenting data, transferring data to an archive and running costs when archiving on your own.
Additionally, the costs of providing data in accordance with high quality standards have to be taken into account before the project starts. In general, funding agencies will bear these costs if they are outlined in advance.
The Keeping Research Data Safe Project, a JISC-funded project, aimed at identifying long-lived digital datasets in order to conduct cost analyses. Although the analysis takes place at institutional level, the lists of cost-relevant activities may serve as a starting point for the cost-analysis of your project.