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Research Guides

Research Data Management

Data Management Planning

What is a DMP?

Data management plans (DMPs) describe the data management activities for a research group, researcher, or research project. They are structured documents created in advance of collecting data, and describe practices that will be followed over the course of the data lifecycle.


DMPs for Funders

For the purpose of research grants, DMPs are limited in scope. They describe the practices researchers intend to follow for a particular project. 

In approximately two pages of text, researchers are asked to outline how they intend to ensure that data are well maintained, shared, and reusable in the future.

To learn more about data sharing, see: Data Sharing Requirements


DMPs for Researchers

Researchers can also use DMPs as living documents that describe their overall data management practices in detail, and are refined over time.

As a tool, data management plans allow researchers to:

  • Identify relevant practices that improve research efficacy.
  • Plan in advance to reduce later costs in time and effort.
  • Easily share an overview with collaborators and stakeholders.
  • Make incremental changes to meet the needs of their research community.
  • Speed up the grant application process over multiple cycles.

Components of a Data Management Plan

Data description

  • Who will be responsible for the data and their management?
  • What types of data will be collected or created?
  • How will data be collected or created, and processed?


  • Which file formats will be used for working data?
  • What additional information is needed to make data meaningful, how will this be captured?
  • What forms will additional descriptive material take?
  • Which metadata standards will be followed?

Policies for access, sharing and re-use

  • How will data be stored, backed up, and maintained during the project?
  • How will you manage access and security?
  • Are there any ethical, privacy, or legal issues?
  • How will the data be shared or made available? Are there any restrictions?
  • What are intended or anticipated future uses?

Long-term storage and management

  • Which data will be preserved for the long-term?
  • Which file formats will be used for long-term accessibility?
  • Where will data be archived and how will they be maintained to ensure preservation?

Writing a Plan for a Funder

The DMPTool is an online platform guiding DMP development according to the requirements of specific funding agencies.


Texas A&M University researchers log in with their NetID and passwords.


Data Management General Guidance
Helpful guide with explanations for the topics covered in a data management plan from the DMPTool.

Checklist for a DMP
The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) checklist with questions to consider and guidance for writing a data management plan.

DMP Self-Assessment Questionnaire
A questionnaire from Purdue University for thinking through aspects of the research data lifecycle that should be addressed in a data management plan. 

Framework for Creating a DMP
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) framework for assembling data management plans to accompany grant applications.

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