Data Management Plan

Definition

A Data Management Plan (DMP or DMSP) details how data will be collected, processed, analyzed, described, preserved, and shared during the course of a research project. A data management plan that is associated with a research study must include comprehensive information about the data such as the types of data produced, the metadata standards used, the policies for access and sharing, and the plans for archiving and preserving data so that it is accessible over time. Data management plans ensure that data will be properly documented and available for use by other researchers in the future. 

Data management plans are often required by grant funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) or National Institute of Health (NIH), and are ~2-page documents submitted as part of a grant application process. According to the requirements from the NIH Data Sharing and Management Policy, the information needed to complete a data management plan will include:

  • Data type
  • Related tools, software, and/or code
  • Data standards
  • Data preservation, access, and associated timelines
  • Access, distribution, or reuse considerations
  • Oversight of data management and sharing
Examples

Here is an example of a data management plan that describes data management for a microscopy project and uses a general NSF template (CalTech). 

Additional examples of DMPs can be found in the DMPTool’s ​​Public DMPs resource.

Similar Terms

Data Management and Sharing Plan
Tools

DMPTool can be used to create data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements.

Further Resources

The NIH has a Scientific Data Sharing website, which includes information on the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing Plan Requirements that  will go into effect January 25, 2023. 

The  SPARC Sharing Requirements by Funding Agency lists and compares the major funders requiring DMPs. 

The Data Digital Curation Centre provides a DMP checklist and questionnaire that can be referenced when preparing a DMP. 

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