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Data Management and Sharing Plans: Data Mgmt Plans

How to approach developing a Data Management or Data Sharing Plan to meet funder requirements

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP) helps researchers work with, manage, share and archive their data effectively.  A DMP typically describes:

  • What data will be produced as a part of the project
  • How  data will be organized, documented,  protected, throughout the research project lifecycle, and how data will be shared and archived
  • Who will take responsibility for carrying out the activities listed above, and
  • When these activities will take place over the course of the project (and beyond) 


What should be in a DMP?

Talk with your advisor about what should be in your data management plan.  Some questions to ask are:

  • What data will be generated in this project?
  • What data will I be responsible for?
  • How will the data that I am responsible for need to connect to other data sets?
  • What formats will be used (Excel, MySQL, jpg, etc.)?
  • How should the data be documented?  What information about the data will need to be captured so that others can understand it?
  • Where should the data be stored and who should have access to it?
  • How should the data be organized?  Should a file naming convention be used?
  • Will the data be published or archived at the end of the project?

Writing up the answers to these questions should form the basis of a solid data management plan.  You may need to ask additional or different questions based on your project and the work that you are doing.  See the "resources" box for examples and guides on putting together a DMP. 

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Scott Brandt
Purdue University Libraries

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