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Research Data Management

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This guide provides an overview of the basic concepts, procedures, and vocabulary involved in data management and the development of data management plans (DMP). It can be used as both an introduction to the topic as well as a reference source for those developing a data management plan. The goal of a data management plan (DMP) is to demonstrate that you have an organized, effective, and well thought-out system to manage your data throughout the research process. This means going beyond taking care of the data during the collection and analysis phases; your DMP must also address your plans for the data after the research is complete.

In fact, the primary focus of most federal data management plans is on data sharing and data preservation and not on the details of data management during the research. This is because you cannot share or preserve data unless it has been well managed during the research phase. 

Before you start:
If you are writing a DMP as part of a grant proposal, read the requirements and keep them on-hand. Keep in mind that most grant proposals limit your data management plan to just two pages which means that you can't provide too much detail. Grant proposal DMPs need to written as a concise summary to stay within this limit. Write Your DMP with DMPTool 

Create your Data Management Plans with DMPTool/

About Data Management Plans (DMPs)

A data management plan (DMP) is a written document for the lifecycle of your data. The plan provides details on data collection for storage, access, sharing, and reproducibility of your results. A good data management plan will ensure the availability and accessibility of your research results after your project is complete and you have published the results, increasing the value of your research and possible reuse by other researchers. 

Get started writing a DMP

1. Learn about the general aspects of DMPs
2. Check the requirements for your funder
  • Check our Funder Requirements and Guidelines page.
  • Always check the specific grant solicitation you're applying to for any requirements beyond the standard ones for that funder.

3. Write the DMP


4. Get Feedback

Sample DMPs

Many funding agencies such as NSF, NIH, NEH, DOE, IMLS and others require that funding proposals include a data management plan (DMP). We recommend using the California Digital Library's DMPTool to create your plan.​

Sample Plans:


Funder Guidelines

Here are major funder guidelines for DMP