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Open Data & Data Management

About Data Management Plans

Data Management plans are an integral part of the research workflow and funding agencies are now requiring a DMP as part of the grant proposal submission.

What is in a Data Management Plan?

  • A description of the types of data to be collected or generated during the course of your research project
  • How you will manage, describe, analyze, and store the data.
  • Standards you will use or your data and the metadata that will describe it
  • Plans for sharing data, including policies affecting access and reuse of the data by other researchers.
  • Methodology for archiving and preserving the data

DMP Tool

 The DMPTool can guide you through the creation of a data management plan that will meet your funder's requirements. 

Checklist for Data Management

Data Production

  • What type(s) of data will be produced?
  • What file format(s) will the data be saved as? Are those file formats proprietary? Will they degrade?
  • Will the data be reproducible?
  • Do you need tools or software to create/process/visualize the data?

Data Size

  • How much data will it be, and at what growth rate?
  • How often will it change?

Data Usage

  • Who will potentially be using your data both now and later?

Data Retention

  • How long should it be retained? (e.g. 3-5 years, 10-20 years, permanently)

Privacy and Security

  • Any special privacy or security requirements? (e.g., personal data, high-security data)

Data Sharing

  • Any sharing requirements? (e.g., funder data sharing policy)
  • Have you chosen a repository in which to archive your data?

Data Management Plan

  • Does your funding agency require a data management plan in the grant proposal?

Data Documentation

  • How will you be documenting your data and project?
  • What directory and file naming convention will be used?
  • What project and data identifiers will be assigned?
  • Is there a schema, ontological, or other metadata standard in your field for sharing data with others?

Storage and Backup

  • What are the strategies for storage and backup of the data?


  • When and where will the work be published?


  • Who in the research group will be responsible for data management?
  • Who controls the data (faculty, funder, university)?


Source: Boston College Libraries. Data Management: Writing a Data Management Plan