A data management plan (DMP) helps you manage your data, in terms of organisation, storage and preservation.
Taking the time to write a good DMP gives you an opportunity to think through many of the issues covered in this guide, and usually saves time and effort later on in the process.
Increasingly, funders require a DMP as part of the application for research funding. For instance, as of 2017, a DMP is required for applications to Horizon 2020. In Sweden, no major funder requires a DMP as of yet. However, adding a DMP as an attachment to your application shows the funder that you have considered these aspects. SUHF, The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, have agreed on a recommendation for data management plan (only in Swedish). (PDF)
A DMP is truly useful when it is a living document that is updated throughout the project. A DMP should include answers to questions such as:
- What kind of data will you collect or create?
- How will the data be collected or created?
- Which documentation and what metadata will accompany the data?
- Are there ethical issues that need consideration?
- How will you manage copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues?
- How will data be handled to insure it is stored and transferred securely?
- How will the data be backed up during the projects?
- Which data should be retained, shared, and/or preserved?
- What is the long term preservation plan?
- How will you share the data? Are there any restrictions on data sharing?
- Who will be responsible for data management?
- Can the resources required be specified and what costs are involved? For instance, personal resources, software and hardware.