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Research Data Management

What is a Data Management Plan?

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:


 Data description and collection or re-use of existing data

 Documentation and data quality

 Storage and backup during the research process

 Legal and ethical requirements, codes of conduct

 Data sharing and long-term preservation

 Data management responsibilities and resources


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 or contact the RCSI Clinical Research Centre

DMP Online

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. 

DMP Samples and Resources

7 Do's of DMPs

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.