Data Management Plans

This guide provides information and links to DMP guidelines and tools

Data Services

For more information or for assistance, please contact Data Services at


Steps in creating a DMP

Before you begin

Most funders have a two-page maximum for DMPs. In addition to the five sections below, you may also include an abstract to provide context for the detailed information in each section.

Here are some areas to consider as you begin the process of composing your DMP

  • Including IT Costs in Research Grants (to assist with with data storage, backup, and preservation)
  • Data storage, backup
  • Data best practices (file naming, file types, versioning)
  • Working with sensitive data
  • Licensing your data
  • Creating metadata
  • Data sharing and preservation

Data Themes

There are fourteen common themes associated elements of a data management plans. A review of these themes will help you fill in gaps within your plan. The themes and related questions were compiled by the Digital Curation Centre and the University of California Curation Centre

DMP Design

Federal agencies and funding organizations often request grant applicants to submit a data management plan (DMP). A DMP describes how you’ll manage your data during your research, how you will share it, and how you’ll ensure that it is preserved for long-term access. Although the specific requirements for each agency and organization vary, in general a DMP should include the following five sections:

1. Data Types

Data produced during the research project may include but are not limited to the following types: text, numbers, images, software, 3D images, video/audio files, surveys, samples, physical collections, or curriculum materials. See the Data File Management guide for more information.

2. Working Data: Organization, Documentation, and Metadata

Data collected during your research may be used by yourself or others in the future. Proper documentation will assist in reuse; examples include a codebook or README file explaining file naming, directories, variables, file types, units of measurement, etc. Metadata (details about the data) will include basic information: project title, data creator(s), subject, description, date, and format.

​3. Access, Sharing, and Intellectual Property

A DMP enables accessing and sharing, which in turn promote transparency, support verification of your original results, and encourage collaboration with researchers in other disciplines. ​

4. Data Reuse and Redistribution

Once your data is available to others, it is necessary to identify who can use it, how they can use it, and if they are allowed to redistribute it. If any data will be restricted, explain how you will communicate those restrictions.

5. Data Preservation and Archiving

Depositing your data in a trustworthy repository which adheres to standards and best practices is the best way to ensure others will have access to your research data in the future. For more information, please see our Data Storage and Repositories guide.


Try the  DMP Tool image templates and guidance to assist in your writing