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Data Management Plans for the Social Sciences

Suggested resources for designing data management plans (DMP) for your research project.

Data Services

Related resources

What is a data management plan?

A data management plan is a document that outlines a researcher's management strategies and policies for data produced by a research project.

Why should I care about DMPs?

A DMP is one part of responsible research data stewardship (note U-M's new SPG on research data stewardship, effective January 1, 2024). If you are applying for a grant, most U.S. government agencies and many private foundations require data management plans and provisions. One of the biggest federal funding agencies is the National Science Foundation (NSF), which began requiring DMPs in 2011. As a major funder of social science research in the U.S., many of our examples and references on this guide use NSF as a starting point. 

Get help with your DMP

Utilize the library's resources to help you with data management and planning.  Ask your subject specialist to review your DMP in order to make it stronger and more effective. When doing so, be sure to identify the specific funding agency to which you are applying, and provide contextual information about the scope of the research project as a whole. The library's Data Services also offers guidance on data organization and management, sharing, discovery and access, preservation, and visualization.

DMP Planning and Checklists


This guide is based on Data Management Plans (ENG) by Paul Grochowski, Leena Lalwani and Sara Samuel.  For further information contact Shevon Desai, Jennifer Nason or Rachel Woodbrook.