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How to write a data management plan (DMP)


A data management plan (DMP) is a document stating your data management practices both during and after a specific research project. Many funding agencies (NSF, NIH, NEH, US Army, etc.) require a DMP with new grant applications.

Data Management Plan consultation service: Jim Van Loon, Research Data Librarian, can assist you in writing a strong and effective DMP. Send him an email (jevanloon@oakland.edu@oakland.edu) with the draft of your DMP, a short description of the project (including methodology), the granting agency guidelines or CFP, and the grant deadline. He can work with you via email or in-person.

In general, a DMP should include:

  • type(s) of data being collected (size, format, etc.)
  • plans for documenting your research (including metadata)
  • plans for data storage
  • plans for data sharing and preservation

Funding agency DMP requirements vary widely so check their website before starting to write!

Other names for DMPs: data sharing plan, data products plan, data access plan, data plan, information products appendix, etc.

Resources for writing a DMP

Best Practices for DMPs

  • Write a DMP before starting a research project and write a separate DMP for each project
  • Write a DMP even if your funding agency doesn't require one
  • Share your DMP with all collaborators
  • Your DMP should be a living document (i.e. update it throughout the project lifecycle)

Examples of DMPs

DMPTool has a repository of sample DMPs for many funding agencies; however, they haven't been vetted for completeness, quality or adherence to funder guidelines.

Sciences: Data Sharing Plans for human subjects research (NIH)

Social Sciences: Social and Political Science data (generic DMP created by ICPSR)

Humanities: DMPs from successful grant applications 2011-2014 (NEH ODH); more info about these DMPs

Physical samples: DMP for bone/wood lauder studies (NSF)



Make a plan for your data

Created by Name / Updated on November 27, 2019 by Name

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