Data Management Plan


What is included in a data management plan?

The most important decisions about handling data are summarized in a data management plan during the project planning period.

  • What types of data will be produced?
  • What data and metadata standards will be implemented?
  • Who has access to the data?
  • Under what conditions can the data be re-used?
  • How can data be archived?

When is a data management plan necessary?

A data management plan helps you to plan how to handle the research data over its entire life cycle, from their collection and evaluation to after the project has ended. This allows researchers to exercise active and sustainable data management. Checklists and guidelines helps to create a data management plan.

A data management plan is required as a formal document in proposals within the current framework program for research and innovation from the European Union (Horizon 2020) in some funding areas (Open Research Data Pilots). The tool DMPonline, developed by the British Digital Curation Centre (DCC), helps with the creation of a data management plan in accordance with the EU's requirements.

The National Science Fundation (NSF) has also required a type of data management plan for many years (Datamanagement Policy) and also provides an online tool (DMPtool) for the creation of a data management plan with templatesfrom different funding institutions.

In data intensive projects, the German Research Foundation also requires that researchers think about data management when submitting proposals (see DFG 2014, Guidelines for Submittors). A data management plan would be a possibility here.