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Research Data Management

Data Management Plans

Writing a Data Management Plan

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a short document that outlines the practices you will follow to collect, store, and manage your data. It is highly beneficial to develop a DMP during the early stages of your research to ensure long-term data security, even if you are not required to submit a DMP as a part of your funding application. Many funding agencies, specifically federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have specific data management requirements that must be addressed in a DMP.

DMPs are generally brief (two pages or less) and should address how you will comply with that funding agency’s policies on data sharing and retention. Common topics addressed include:

  • What is the data and in what format will it be collected?
  • How much data will be generated?
  • What documentation and metadata standards will you be using?
  • How will the data be stored and backed up?
  • What data will be shared, by whom, and how?

Need help creating a DMP? Use the DMPTool, which provides templates for funding agencies and sample plans to help you get started.

Three photos side by side, multiple computer screens with data on them, a doctor looking at an iPad, and a person using a clipboard and pen to mark items off a list