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Research Data Management

Learn how to manage your research data throughout the data lifecycle: including data management plans, data organization, file formats, as well as data sharing/re-use.

What is a Data Management Plan

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is "A written document that describes the data you expect to acquire or generate during the course of a research project, how you will manage, describe, analyze and store those data, and what mechanism you will use at the end of your project to share and preserve your data."

Most funders, both public and private, require a DMP as part of the project proposal. Federal agencies have implemented requirements for data sharing based on the OMB Circular in different ways. Refer to the Public Access Policies  to explore requirements for data sharing.

Creating a Data Management Plan

Though the requirements in a DMP can vary by funder, there are some general criteria that should be included:

  • Who are the responsible parties in charge of data management (PI, CO-PIs etc)?
  • What type/format data will be collected?
  • Where will the data be stored?
  • Who will have access to the data and what are the data sharing practices and policies?
  • How long will the data be retained for?

A data management plan (DMP) is a maximum of 2 pages long. If the funder requires a DMP and you do not include a DMP you must include a statement why one is not needed.


Tools and Resources for creating DMPs

DMPTool helps researchers create data management plans (DMPs). It provides guidance from specific funders who require DMPs, but the tool can be used by anyone interested in developing generic DMPs to help facilitate their research. The site also includes public access DMPS, which are DMPs that were created using the DMP tool and made publicly available by their creators. (

Below you will find DMP examples and templates from various institutions across a wide range of disciplines.

Samples of NSF Data Management Plans (UC San Diego)

Data Management Plan Template (University of Nebraska Lincoln)

Data Management Plan Examples by Discipline (University of Minnesota)

Odom Institute Data Management Sample Plans (University of North Carolina)