Data Management Plans in the genomics research revolution of Africa: Challenges and Recommendations
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Drafting and writing a data management plan (DMP) is increasingly seen as a key part of the academic research process. A DMP is a document that describes how a researcher will collect, document, describe, share, and preserve the data that will be generated as part of a research project. The DMP illustrates the importance of utilizing best practices through all stages of working with data while ensuring accessibility, quality, and longevity of the data. The benefits of writing a DMP include compliance with funder and institutional mandates; making research more transparent (for reproduction and validation purposes); and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable); protecting data subjects and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and/or local data protection policies. In this review, we highlight the importance of a DMP in modern biomedical research, explaining both the rationale and current best practices associated with DMPs. In addition, we outline various funders’ requirements concerning DMPs and discuss open-source tools that facilitate the development and implementation of a DMP. Finally, we discuss DMPs in the context of African research, and the considerations that need to be made in this regard.