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Data management plans

What is a data management plan?

Data Management Plans (DMP) are documents that help researchers, funding agencies and data repositories to precisely understand the type of data that will be produced, how they will be managed and preserved, and how they will be shared.

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Why do I need to produce a DMP?

  • Many funding agencies require a DMP as a component of the grant application. Canadian agencies are soon expected to adopt more stringent requirements, to align themselves with their U.S. and U.K counterparts.
  • Creating a DMP right at the start of your research project will help you manage the data throughout its lifecycle. Planning for data management at the beginning of the research process will save you a lot of time and ensure that you will make the right decisions in terms of consent forms, help you with the ethics board approval, and identify a suitable data repository.
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Online tools (to assist you with the creation of a DMP)

Interactive online tools have been devised to help researchers create a DMP as quickly and easily as possible. We recommend that you use the DMP Assistant (see below) . As Canadian funding agencies elaborate their own criteria for DMPs, more specific templates will be added to the DMP Assistant.

DMP Assistant (https://assistant.portagenetwork.ca)

Portage's DMP Assistant anticipates on the new requirements by the Canadian funding agencies. For now it provides a generic template based on established best practices.

  • Created by Portage, the data management network of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
  • Step-by-step instructions on creating a DMP
  • Specific templates for Canadian funding agencies will be added as the requirements are announced

Other tools

The following tools are generally based on the requirements of U.S or U.K. funding agencies, however they can be used by Canadian researchers since the main elements of data management plans are the same regardless of specific requirements.

DMPTool (https://dmp.cdlib.org/)
  • Created by the University of California
  • Includes templates for various U.S. funding agencies
  • Includes a library of publicly available DMPs that you can use as starting points
DMPonline (https://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/)
  • Created by the U.K. Data Curation Centre, an authoritative expertise centre for digital curation
  • Includes templates form U.K. funding agencies
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Checklists and self-assessment tools

The following provide lists of important elements to be covered by DMPs along with descriptions and guidelines.

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Updated: Tuesday 6 August 2019
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