Your Data Management Plan is designed to be a living document and should be updated periodically throughout the research project:
- If there are changes to the project
- If you are generating new data
- If relevant policies change
- If you are preparing a report to your funder
A data management plan (DMP) is a written document that describes the data you expect to acquire or generate during the course of a research project, how you will manage, describe, analyze, and store those data throughout the research project, and what mechanisms you will use at the end of your project to share and preserve your data. It typically includes information on:
Although you may have already considered some or all of these issues with regard to your research project, writing them down helps to formalise the process, identify weaknesses, and provide a record of what you intend(ed) to do. Data Management Plans should be created in the early stages of a research project and are designed to be working documents that should be periodically updated as the project proceeds or if there are any significant changes to the initial project plan.
Many funders now require a DMP as part of their funding conditions (e.g. Health Research Board) and will often provide guidance or a template for you to use. Nationally and internationally, funding bodies are increasingly aligning themselves with the Science Europe Core Requirements for Data Management Plans. To help researchers, Science Europe has created an easy to follow DMP Template, which addresses the majority of issues frequently raised by funders and provides practical guidance on implementing these core requirements. The subsequent sections of this LibGuide are designed to help researchers complete each relevant section of a DMP.
DMPs for studies involving clinical trials require greater detail, including the use of electronic case report forms, and are not in the scope of this guide, for more information please email Sponsorship@rcsi.com or contact the RCSI Clinical Research Centre.
DMPonline is is a web-based tool to help researchers write data management plans (DMPs) to meet institutional and funder requirements. Designed and developed by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) in the UK, the tool includes a number of templates for funders (including a Health Research Board DMP template) so researchers can write DMPs according to the specific requirements they need to meet. It provides relevant questions together with guidance and example answers to help you respond. You can share your plan with collaborators to co-write it and export it in a number of different formats.
You can use your RCSI credentials to sign into DMPOnline following free registration.
Ten Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan
Journal article presenting ten simple rules that can guide the process of creating an effective plan for managing research data.
Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Example DMPs and Guidance
A summary of example plans organised by UK research funders is provided by the DCC. Some evaluation cribsheets, overseas examples and general guidelines are also referenced.
Public DMPs are plans created using the DMPonline service and shared publicly by their owners. They are not vetted for quality, completeness, or adherence to funder guidelines.
LIBER Data Management Plan Catalogue
The Data Management Plan (DMP) Catalogue of the LIBER Research Data Management Working Group provides a central hub for DMPs from different disciplines together with quality reviews of the DMPs
Addressing the FAIR Data Principles in a Data Management Plan
A useful guide produced by University College Dublin (UCD) on how to integrate the FAIR data principles into your Data Management Plan.
A useful checklist produced by University College Dublin (UCD) to help you develop a research DMP for your research project.
The following videos give a general introduction to writing a Data Management Plan (DMP), in the form of seven areas that are typically addressed in a DMP. This is a broad overview, so please refer to the specific guidelines or preferred DMP template of your funder when writing your DMP.
Click on the image below to download our 7 Do's of DMPs guide.