Skip to main content
Library Research Guides

Research Data Management (Health Sciences)

What is a Data Management Plan?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a formal document that describes how you will handle your data during the course of your research and at the conclusion of your study or project.

Why Create a DMP?

 Many funding agencies require data management or data sharing plans to be submitted with new grant applications. Each funding agency has specific requirements, so it is important to check for your specific grant.

In addition to meeting funder requirements, there are many other benefits to creating a DMP. Many data management issues can be handled easily or avoided entirely by planning ahead. Creating a DMP doesn't take too long and can pay off enormously in the long run. A good DMP will:

  • save you time
  • simplify your research
  • safeguard against data loss
  • extend the life of your research
  • make your research more findable and reusable

Elements of a DMP

Depending on your funder requirements, your DMP may include:

  • Data Description: nature, scope, and scale of generated/collected data
  • Access & Sharing: how you intend to make your data available to others
  • Metadata: descriptive standards about your data
  • Intellectual Property Rights: data ownership
  • Ethics & Privacy: informed consent and confidentiality issues
  • Format: anticipated submission, distribution, and preservation formats
  • Archiving & Preservation: how will you ensure this for the long term
  • Storage & Backup: how and where will copies be stored
  • Security: how will security be ensured
  • Responsibility: who is the data steward
  • Existing Data: is similar data available elsewhere
  • Selection & Retention Periods: which data is retained and for how long
  • Audience: who is likely to see and use this data
  • Data Organization: version control and naming conventions
  • Quality Assurance: are there standards to be met
  • Budget: how will costs for archiving be paid
  • Legal Requirements: are there any related to archiving and sharing

Source: ICPSR Elements of a Data Management Plan, accessed 6/14/17