Data management plan (DMP)
In this section:
What is a data management plan?
A data management plan describes the data (or similar evidence) that a project will collect, how they will be documented, how they will be stored during the project, how they will be archived at the end of the project and how access will be granted to them where appropriate. Your DMP will also help you consider issues related to confidentiality, ethics, security and copyright before initiating your research.
Other common names for a data management plan include:
- Data management and sharing plan
- Access and data management plan
- Statement on data sharing
- Data access plan
- Technical plan
Most funders now require a DMP to be submitted with a grant application. Please see specific funders' research data policies for more information.
The research data management team can help you write your DMP and can review it prior to submission. - Just contact us. Please get in touch early. Allow no less than two weeks for data management plan consultations, in particular for H2020 applications. For short notice requests, we will make every effort to provide you with the information you need to write your plan; however, we won't be able to guarantee a full review of your DMP.
The benefits of a DMP
The benefits of a data management plan go beyond funder compliance. Writing a DMP will help you consider aspects of your research such as file formats, storage requirements, ethics, copyright, intellectual property and archival plans early on in your project saving time and costs at a later stage.
Although your DMP is prepared before your project begins, you should aim to review it at regular intervals during the project so that it remains relevant to your research.
Some of the benefits of writing and keeping a data management plan up to date are:
- data are well described and documented, therefore easily understandable;
- it can offer continuity when existing project members leave or new ones join;
- it offers an inventory of project data so that unnecessary duplications are avoided;
- it helps consider issues related to confidentiality, ethics, security and copyright early on in the project;
- it helps plan for storage provisions;
- it helps evaluate data sharing options.
Funder requirements for DMPs
Several funders provide templates for data management plans they expect as part of funding applications. In addition, they may provide additional guidance for applicants as well as for reviewers on how DMPs will be assessed during the funding application process. Please refer to individual funders' research data policies for further information.
DMPonline is an online tool developed by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) to assist researchers in writing their data management plans. It offers a number of templates meeting the requirements of the most common funders and it provides guidance on how to complete them.
You will be able to sign in to DMPonline by using your University email and password after an initial sign up as explained in the user guide 'DMPonline: signing in for the first time', also available in our useful documents section.
Further guidance on how to create a data management plan can be obtained from the Digital Curation Centre who provide a number of examples for data management plan for different funders, a useful checklist for a data management plan and guidance on where to keep research data.
Please don't hesitate to contact the RDM team for further information and advice.