Data Management Plans

It is important to have a plan for the management of research data throughout the data life cycle. Funding agencies such as the NSF and NIH have begun to require data management plans as part of the grant application process.

To create a data management plan for a research project, you will need to answer a series of questions about the data that will be created by the project, and then document the answers in a plan.

Questions for a data management plan

  1. What data will be created during the research project?
  2. Which file format(s) will be used for the data?
  3. How will the data files be named and organized?
  4. How will changes in the data files be tracked?
  5. Where will the data be stored?
  6. Who should have access to the data?
  7. How will the data be documented (metadata)?
  8. Should the data be placed in a repository or archive for sharing and long-term storage?
  9. What are the funding agency requirements for data management?

For a more comprehensive and in-depth tool for evaluating the current state of your data and identifying areas of focus for improving your data management, check out our Data Curation Profiles page.

Resources for creating and writing a data management plan

  1. Information Services & Technology (IS&T) provides a variety of options for storing data.
  2. Existing data management plans offer examples and templates.
  3. DMPTool — a program that walks you through the steps of creating data management plans for most US funding agencies.
  4. Contact us through our Ask a Question form to set up a consultation with a member of the data management team.

Additional resources

  1. IS&T provides a variety of services related to research data management.
  2. For funding agencies that also require an Information Systems Strategy Plan (ISSP), a Boundary Scope Memo, a Security Self-Assessment or a System Security Categorization Review, IS&T can provide assistance in creating one.
  3. How to cite data