What is a Data Management Plan (DMP), and why do I need one?
A DMP describes how the data will be obtained, described and stored throughout the research project. It contains information about data files, how the research intends to store gathered data, and it outlines a plan for sharing the research project's data.
There are many reasons to prepare a data management plan:
If a research project is publicly funded, the grant funding agency may require a researcher to make their data available to others
Publishers are also starting to require that authors make the data that supports their research results available to others
Data sharing is increasingly becoming an expected part of the research process
DMPs can help researchers organize the research process and make it more efficient
This video describes the what, why and how of data management planning.
On the surface, data management plans appear to be a very straightforward policy tool. They simply lengthen current funding applications by another page or two. However, the purposes they fulfill and the processes they embody will enrich the production and custodial care of research data.