A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document, usually included in a grant or other funding application, that describes the data that will be created during the course of the project, how it will be managed throughout the course of the project (i.e., stored, organized, documented, and preserved), how it will be archived after the project is over, and how it will be made available to other researchers and the public.
Elements of a Data Management Plan
The particular requirements of a data management plan vary among funding agencies, so it is best to always consult the agency. However, there are a few common attributes:
▻ A description of the type(s) of data to be produced
▻ Methods of how the data will be collected and who will be responsible for data
▻ Standards you will use to describe your data (metadata standards)
▻ Backup and storage procedures
▻ Provisions for long-term archiving and preservation
▻ Access policies and provisions for secondary uses: will it be available to others? How?
▻ Any protection or security measures taken to protect participant confidentiality?
▻ Expected costs for data management and preservation
A data management plan (DMP) will:
▻ define the steps you need to manage your data
▻ strengthen your research ethics application
▻ ensure you follow funder and journal requirements
▻ clarify what you need for longer-term data management
▻ give your data a longer lifespan and strengthen your research process