Data Management Plans (DMPs)


What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP), or data sharing plan, is a written statement provided to an agency during the application process for research funding that explains how your project team will collect, organize, process, and store the data related to your research.

When is a Data Management Plan submitted, and who is it submitted to?

DMPs are submitted to a funding agency as a part of the funding application procedure.

What if my Data Management Plan changes after I start my research or learn something new about my data outcomes?

Data management plans tend to change as you progress though your research, and you should update your DMP document as needed so it remains an accurate representation. Track changes in a revision history that lists the dates that any changes were made to the plan along with the details about those changes, including who made them.

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan

Exact elements you will need to include in your plan are determined by the project funder’s policy. Data management plan elements:

  • Identify the data to be collected

  • Define how the data will be organized

  • Explain how the data will be documented

  • Describe how data will be quality assured

  • Present a sound data storage and preservation strategy

  • Define the Project’s Data Policies

  • Describe how the data will be disseminated

  • Assign roles and responsibilities

  • Prepare a budget

Michener W. K. (2015). Ten Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan. PLoS computational biology, 11(10), e1004525. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004525

Funder Requirements for DMPs

Funding Agency



Content Requirement

Length Requirement



National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH Data Sharing Policy

Investigators seeking more than $500K in direct support in any given year to starting in October 1, 2003.

PIs must submit a Data-Sharing Plan with their application or indicate why data sharing is not possible.

See: What to include in an NIH Application for details.

Not specified, but submitted plans are typically a couple of paragraphs in length.

Examples of NIH Data-Sharing Plans

NIH Data Sharing FAQs

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF Data Sharing Policy

All NSF proposals submitted or due on or after January 18, 2011.

NSF provides specific topics to include in your DMP. These can be found under section J of NSF 15-1 Proposal Preparation Instructions.

Maximum length: 2 pages

Example NSF Biology DMP

Example NSF General DMP

NSF Public Access FAQs

Tools and Software


Create, review, and share data management plans that meet insitutional and funder requirements
Use Cases: 
• Use DMP templates by funding agency
• Find example DMPs
• Write, update, and submit DMPs

Library Support

Email to ask questions about data management plans.