How do I construct a data management plan?

A range of online tools and downloadable templates are starting to appear which aim to help the individual researchers construct Data Management Plans at the funding application stage. In the UK the most popular is the DCC's DMPOnline. This allows you to fill in a proforma template which highlights the requirements and questions your particular funder is interested in. All major UK funding bodies are represented.

If applying for US funding from organisations such as NSF then the University of California's DMPTool will help you construct a suitable plan.

About the DMPOnline

DMPOnline is the DCC's data management planning tool. In addition to the questions included in the DCC's influential Checklist for a Data Management Plan, it also contains useful guidance on how to prepare a data management plan and carry it through to execution.

The tool has three main functions:

  1. To help create and maintain different versions of Data Management Plans;
  2. To provide useful guidance on data management issues and how to meet research funders' requirements;
  3. To export attractive and useful plans in a variety of formats.

The tool draws upon the DCC's analysis of funders' data requirements to help project teams create up to three iterations of a data management plan; a 'minimal' version for use at the grant application stage, a 'core' version to be developed during the project itself, and towards the end of the project a 'full' version that addresses issues of longer-term access and preservation.

About the DMPTool

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