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Data Management Plan Guidance

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Data Management Plan Guidance

A data management plan describes data generated or used for a given project and states how that data will be created, managed, stored, accessed, and shared during and after a research project. The details of a data management plan will vary depending on the circumstances of the project, but each data management plan should strive to accurately describe the characteristics and context of the data and to outline the parameters for its preservation, access, and dissemination. There are a number of University Libraries' resources and national resources to support data management plan development. 

Consultation and Review

The Libraries' Data Working Group will provide free consultation on the preparation of Data Management Plans for University faculty and researchers. To have the DWG review your plan, please email one week in advance of your deadline.

Data Management Plan


National Science Foundation agency-wide elements of a data management plan may include:

types of data (expected data)
metadata and standards for format and content
policies for access and sharing
policies for re-use, re-distribution, and production of derivatives
short and long term storage and management (archiving and preservation)


This is a general guide designed to inform the development of a data management plan. The elements below respond to the requirements of the National Science Foundation mandate for Data Management Plans and are based on several similar template documents.  A given data management plan may not need to include each element listed below; however, it is helpful to think about each element when crafting a plan.

Download Guide (PDF)

Data Management Plan Tool

The University of California Curation Center and the California Digital Library have created a DMP Tool, which generates data management plans based on the requirements of specific funding agencies. Users will receive step-by-step instructions and guidance for their data management plans.

Use the DMP Tool

Additional Resources


  1. MIT Data Planning Checklist
  2. Stanford University Questions to Ask as You Prepare a Grant Proposal
  3. California Digital Library Data Planning Checklist
  4. ICPSR Framework for Creating a Data Management Plan and Elements of a Data Management Plan
  5. Digital Curation Centre Checklist for a Data Management Plan
  6. University of Oxford Data Management Planning Checklist (DOC)
  7. University of Minnesota Libraries Data Management Plan Checklist (PDF)

Planning Tools

  1. Johns Hopkins University Data Management Services' Guidance on Preparing NSF Data Management Plans
  2. MIT Libraries, Data Management and Publishing Subject Guide
  3. University of Minnesota University Libraries, Managing Your Data
  4. Digital Curation Centre DMP Online
  5. Sample Data Management Plan for Depositing Data with ICPSR

Data Repositories

  1. Open Access Directory List (by repository subject)
  2. DataBib


Last Edited: 11 December 2014