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Data Management Toolkit @ UNH

This toolkit provides information to help researchers develop data management plans and effectively manage their research data.

Contents of a data management plan

Planning for your data management needs 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.

Creating a data management plan (DMP) can be valuable to you and may be required by your funding agency. Your DMP is a dynamic document - you will want to review your plan regularly to make sure it still addresses your needs, and update your plan if there are changes in your research project.

What should be included in a data management plan? Generally, a DMP may contain the following:

  • Brief description of the project: e.g., rationale, purpose of the research;
  • Description of the data to be collected: e.g., the types of data, the nature and format of the data, how it will be collected, and overview of secondary data available
  • Standards to be applied for file formats, metadata, etc.
  • Plans for short-term storage: e.g., local storage and back up procedures, and security
  • Description of legal and ethical issues: e.g., intellectual property, confidentiality of study participants
  • Access and sharing policies and provisions: i.e., how will you make data available to others, methods for sharing and dissemination, any restrictions to data reuse, etc.
  • Provisions for long-term archiving and preservation: e.g., in a data archive
  • Assigned data management roles and responsibilities: i.e., which persons will actually be responsible for ensuring data management; how will compliance with this plan be monitored and ensured over time?

Always check with your funding agencies for specific requirements for plan content. 

Tools, checklists, and templates

There are several web-based tools to help build and edit customizable plans according to the requirements of select funders (including the NSF).                               

Links to the DMPTool.

DMPTool is a service provided by the University of California Curation Center (UC3)

DMP Online is a service provided by the UK's Digital Curation Centre (DCC)

The resources below provide a detailed look at questions to consider when developing a DMP:

The resources below draw together details researchers are often asked to provide in data management plans.  They can serve as good general models for any project even though these may have been created for particular programs or funders:

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Example data management plans