Planning for your data management needs at the beginning of your research project will save you time and resources in the long run and ensure that your data will be compliant with standards in your field and usable in the future. A formal plan can be valuable to you and may be required by your funding agency.
DMPTool and DMP Online are web-based tools to build and edit a customized plan according to select funder requirements (including the NSF). DMPTool is a service provided by the University of California Curation Center (UC3) and DMP Online is a service provided by the UK's Digital Curation Centre (DCC).
What should be included in a data management plan? Although funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) may have specific requirements for plan content, there are fundamental data management principles that apply to most disciplines, formats, and projects. A data management plan will help you to manage your data for your own use, as well as to meet a funder requirement or enable data sharing in the future. Generally, a data management plan should contain the following components:
When developing your Data Management Plan, consider the following questions:
The resources below serve as good general models for any project (even though these may have been created for particular programs or funders):