Skip to Main Content

Research Data Management

Creating a Data Management Plan

Creating a Data Management Plan (DMP) can keep you and your research team organized.

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada created a bilingual tool called the DMP Assistant. It takes you step-by-step by asking questions about your research and providing guidance throughout the process. 

To get started: 

  • Create an account:
  • Choose a template. There are several from which to choose. The default template should fulfill your data management needs. 
  • Answer the questions as fully as possible for the best use of the Assistant. 
  • Share your plan with your research team to have others contribute. 
  • You can export or print your plan, and you can revise your plan throughout your research project. 


General framework for an effective Data Management Plan

The Alliances has created a brief guide to help plan and organize your research. Contact us for assistance with writing a DMP. This guide contains, but is not limited to the following questions you may want to consider: 

  • Describe your project including its focus and purpose in terms that can be understood by anyone (try to avoid extensive use of jargon and explain acronyms)
  • Try not to leave sections blank or questions unanswered
  • Update as needed
Data Collection
  • How will you collect your data, from where, and in what format
  • What software will be used and how you will store and transfer data
  • Include file naming and version structures
Documentation and Metadata
  • Describe how the data is documented and what is needed for others to understand it
  • Choose a metadata schema (description of your data) used by your discipline 
Storage and Backup
  • Estimate how much storage space is required
  • Follow the 3-2-1 rule for backup: 3 copies of your data, on 2 different storage media, with 1 located offsite
  • State how others on your team will work with your data (create, modify, etc.)
  • Think about preservation-friendly, non-proprietary formats
  • Where will you deposit your data for long-term preservation and access
Sharing and Reuse
  • Consider funding and/or ethical requirements when sharing data
  • Choose an end user license outlining how your data can be used
Responsibilities and Resources
  • Determine who in your group will be responsible for data management and who controls the data
  • What resources are required to store your data
Ethics and Legal Compliance
  • Consider how you will store and transfer sensitive data securely
  • Consider how you will manage secondary use of sensitive data
  • Can a 'public' (anonymized, de-identified) version of your data be created
  • How will you manage legal, ethical, and intellectual property issues