A data management plan (DMP) is a written document that describes the data you expect to acquire or generate during the course of a research project, how you will manage, describe, analyze, and store those data, and what mechanisms you will use at the end of your project to share and preserve your data.
You may have already considered some or all of these issues with regard to your research project, but writing them down helps you formalize the process, identify weaknesses in your plan, and provide you with a record of what you intend(ed) to do. Data management is best addressed in the early stages of a research project, but it is never too late to develop a data management plan.
Creating a data management plan
A DMP is a living document
Research is all about discovery, and the process of doing research sometimes requires you to shift gears and revise your intended path. Your DMP is a living document that you may need to alter as the course of your research changes. Remember that any time your research plans change, you should review your DMP to make sure that it still meets your needs.
Preparing to write a DMP
Before you sit down to write your DMP, you may want to do a little thinking. The following documents provide guidance on the types of issues you may need to consider as you begin the process of writing your DMP.
Data storage and backup
Data best practices
Working with sensitive data at SDU
Data sharing (internal link to sharing and publishing your data page of RDM website)
Licensing your data
This text is adapted from the Stanford University Library Data Management Services website.
Online tool for creating a DMP: DMPonline
DMPonline helps you to create, review, and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. It is provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC). Some funders mandate the use of DMPonline, while others point to it as a useful option.
You can download funder templates without logging in, but the tool provides tailored guidance and example answers from the DCC and many research organizations. Why not sign up for an account and try it out?
Visit the Danish DMPOnline to get started. The service is provided by the Danish e-infrastructure Cooperation (DeiC), and administered jointly by the Royal Danish Library and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Library). It is available to all employees at Danish research institutions and their collaborators.
Courses and training material
For more resources on developing your own Data Management Plan (DMP) we recommend these courses and training materials:
- Introduction to Research Data Management – Module 3 of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course given to all PhD students at SDU
- Data management plan and responsible handling of research data – given by SDU OPEN and intended for PhD students
- LIBER DMP catalogue – for inspiration and examples of how to fill in a DMP
- Example DMP’s and guidance from the DCC – for inspiration and examples of how to fill in a DMP
- OpenAIRE guide on how to write a DMP
Danish e-Learning video on how to fill in a DMP
To see more examples of how to fill in a Data Management Plan, or DMP, watch this 20 minute video e-Learning module that aims to help researchers:
- understand the added value of making data management plans in research projects
- identify challenges in projects related to research data management, and
- identify stakeholders who require a DMP and know how to start making a DMP, including what topics to cover.
This video e-Learning module is the result of a collaboration of the Danish universities, Rigsarkivet and the Danish e-Infrastructure Centre (DeiC). Holmstrand, K.F., den Boer, S.P.A., Vlachos, E., Martínez-Lavanchy, P.M., Hansen, K.K. (Eds.) (2019). Research Data Management (e-Learning course). DOI:10.11581/dtu:00000047