A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a formal document that describes the data generated during a research project. A DMP also details all aspects of data management that will take place during the integrated research data lifecycle when data are being collected, organized, documented, stored, shared, and preserved.
Creating a data management plan is a vital step in the research process that researchers cannot afford to skip. A growing number of funding agencies including but not limited to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Institute of Education Sciences (IES), require researchers to submit DMPs. Funding agencies require grantees to submit DMPs because they assure that data will be accessible and usable over the long term. Researchers can also use DMPs as living documents to ensure that the research data are accurate, complete, reliable, and secure; both during and after the research project.