Data Management Planning

A goal without a plan is just a wish." Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 -1944)


The DMPTool is a collaboration of multiple institutions, including DataONE. The DMPTool will help 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
  • Learn about resources and services available at your institution to help fulfill the data management requirements of your grant

The DMPTool, released in October 2011, walks researchers through the steps neccesary to create a generic NSF DMP, a DMP targeted to one of eleven NSF Directorates (including Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Biological Sciences), one for NEH or the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. You can also save, preview and export your plans and future functionality will allow you to share DMPs with collaborators and other researchers.

General Guidelines

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:

  • the types of data to be authored;
  • the standards that would be applied, for example format and metadata content;
  • provisions for archiving and preservation;
  • access policies and provisions; and
  • plans for eventual transition or termination of the data collection in the long-term future.

In January 2011 NSF added the requirement for a data management plan (DMP) to be included within proposals and have since provided guidelines for the structure of this plan. Below are some example DMPs developed by participants of a DataONE Best Practices workshop, that conform to these guidelines.

NSF General: Mauna Loa example
NSF General: Rio Grande example
NSF General: HDF Map example
NSF General: Nutrient Network example
NSF BIO: E. afffinis example