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Open Access

What are Data Management Plans?

A data management plan (DMP) is an essential part of any research project that generates data. They are often required for grant-funded projects. They describe how you plan to manage, describe, analyze, and store those data, and how, at the end of your project, you will share and preserve that data. Funding agencies will often have specific requirements for how they want this done, which researchers will have to account for at the beginning of their project.

This section of the OA guide will cover how to create a plan with DMPTool and it will review various funding agency requirements, including those established by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Data Management Templates

DMPTool - Guidance and resources for your Data Management Plan

A number of U.S. funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health require researchers to supply detailed, cost-effective plans for managing research data, called Data Management Plans.

Several universities and organizations are developing the DMPTool to help researchers meet these new requirements. In specific, the DMPTool will help researchers:

  • Create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies
  • Meet requirements for data management plans
  • Get step-by-step instructions and guidance for data management plan
  • Learn about resources and services available at your institution to fulfill the data management requirements of their grants

Funding Agency Requirements

In order to promote open access to research data, many funding agencies require that research data produced as part of a funded project be made publicly available and/or have instituted requirements for formal data management plans, including:​

Researchers can comply with these requirements by depositing their data into one of the many available data repositories.

NSF Data Management Plans

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) began requiring formal data management plans as part of the peer-reviewed funding proposal process effective January 18, 2011.

NSF Data Management Plan Requirement Overview