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Data Management Planning for NMSU Researchers

What Is A Data Management Plan? 

A data management plan describes the data that will be authored and how the data will be managed and made accessible throughout its lifetime. The contents of the data management plan should include:

  • Type of data 
  • Standards & metadata used with the data
  • Access to data & how shared
  • Policies and provisions for data re-use
  • Plans for long-term data archiving

Most federal agencies and many private funders require data management plans (DMP) in award proposals. Some scholarly publishers also require researchers to make their research data publicly available. 

"Miss A Writes a Song" by mrsdkrebs is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Writing A Data Management Plan (DMP)

Data management plans (DMPs) are documents prepared by researchers as they are designing a project and writing a funding proposal. DMPs typically include: 

  • Type of data collected
  • Data format, including any data/metadata standards
  • Plans for how the data will be shared, including any policies that affect access as well data reuse by other researchers
  • Plans on data archiving and preservation

Here are some useful sites that provide details on what should go into a DMP:

The DMPTool is a collaborative effort between multiple institutions, including DataONE, to streamline the management planning process. Anyone can create a data management plan using the DMPTool. A login is required to access the “wizard”, so you will want to set up an account with a username and password you create. 

A real bonus is that the DMPTool site offers a useful collection of agency-specific DMP requirements, as well as sample agency-specific plans to help you with your plan. It also provides a list of many public DMPs that serve as models. Why re-invent the wheel?

The DMPTool helps you:

  • Create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies
  • Meet funder requirements for data management plans
  • Get step-by-step instructions and guidance for your data management plan as you build it
  • Preview and export your plans, as well as share them publicly

Sample Plans and Templates

One good thing is that there are many templates and models to work from. The DMPTool (above) walks researchers through DMP creation. But it is helpful to look at what other researchers have done to get an overall feel for the end product. 

Here are links to sample data management plans. Please note that these plans were developed to serve the particular needs of the project's investigators, funding agencies, designated user communities, and other stakeholders. The needs and requirements for your data will likely be different. You should take care to develop a data management plan that addresses your project directly. Finally, note that these examples are fully developed and active data management plans and not the 2-page summary required by the NSF and other funding agencies.