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Library Research Guides

Data Management Plans (ENG)

This guide will provide guidance & resources for researchers in the College of Engineering who are writing a Data Management Plan.


Please note that these DMP excerpts are copyrighted by their respective authors.

“Verilog, SPICE, and MATLAB files generated will be processed and submitted to FTP servers as .mat files with TXT documentation. The data will be distributed in several widely used formats, including ASCII, tab-delimited (for use with Excel), and MAT format. Instructional material and relevant technical reports will be provided as PDF. Digital video data files generated will be processed and submitted to the FTP servers in MPEG-4 (.mp4) and .avi formats. Variables will use a standardized naming convention consisting of a prefix, root, suffix system.”

“Plasma image data will be RGB colored JPG or TIFF format with resolution determined by the camera. Video data will be RGB colored AVI format.”

These examples illustrate a preference for non-proprietary data formats based on open standards.

Less Developed:
“The data format includes digital data recorded by computers and instruments and metadata recorded in lab notebooks and reports.”

This answer is too vague to be informative.

Show/Hide Example 2

Show/Hide Example 3


Describe the formats (file types) your data will be in. Proprietary formats are more difficult to preserve, as the software and hardware that reads them quickly becomes obsolete. Data should be stored in stable, non-proprietary formats, preferably those based on open and published standards, whenever possible. If your research will generate files in proprietary formats, consider converting those files into formats based on open standards for sharing and archival purposes.

Questions to Consider

  • Which file formats will you use for your data and why?
  • Which standards will you use and why have you chosen them? If your data are generated in a non-standard format, how will you convert them to a more accessible format? Where and how will you make the conversion code available, if you plan to write it?
  • If there are no applicable standard formats, how will you format your data so that other researchers can make use of them?
  • Who on your team will have the responsibility of ensuring that data standards are properly applied and data properly formatted? What procedures will be in place to ensure that this is done consistently throughout the duration of the project?

NSF Guidance

"The DMP should describe the specific data formats, media, and dissemination approaches that will be used to make data available to others, including any metadata."

Resources - File Formats