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Data Management: Data Management Plan


Data Management Plan helps organize your process and data before you begin, so you will be able to locate and share you data.

The FAIR principles help ensure research data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Find out more at

Why Create a Data Management Plan?

Source: How to avoid a data management nightmare, by Karen Hanson, Kevin Read & Alisa Surkis, New York University Health Sciences Library under a CC-BY license. 

Data Management Plan

Data Management Plan

Funding agencies (NIH, NSF, etc.) are requiring Data Management Plans. Even if it is not required, having a data management plan helps you to organize your thoughts around the data storage and sharing needs. 

Basic features of a Data Management Plan:

  • Project Description - optional, may be in the main project proposal)
  • Roles & Responsibilities - of staff collecting data
  • Expected Data to be collected - nature and format of data, any secondary data
  • Legal and ethical issues - is there any patient, proprietary or sensitive data involved, are permissions and proper institutional systems involved 
  • Data Format & Dissemination - how will data be stored and what mechanisms will be in place for access
  • Data storage & Preservation  -  how will long-term archival storage and access be maintained
  • Period of Data Retention - how  long will data be stored, will data format be readable after a period of time
  • Additional Possible Data Management Requirements 

DMPTool - a free and open source site to create a data management plan. Choose from templates for NIH and NSF that guide you through the process. You can sign in as an individual for free.

Examples of Data Management Plans - from the DMPTool.

General Guidance for Data Management - a guide outlining all the areas to consider for managing your data.

Caltech Data Management Plan Template (Word)

Templates and examples from University of Michigan.