Data Management Plan

Writing a data management plan (DMP) can be a useful way to outline and document the intended research data management process. A DMP generally includes all information that adequately describes and documents the collection, processing, storage, archiving, and publication of research data as part of a research project. Typical sections of a data management plan, which is subdivided in the three areas before data collection, during data collection and after data collection, are:


  1. Before data collection:
    • Background of the research project
    • Compilation of specific guidelines, recommendations, legal aspects, license contracts
    • Clarification of roles and responsibilities
    • Search and evaluation of already existing data
    • Planning of the data collection procedure
    • Costing for data management and data sharing
    • Legal aspects regarding data protection prior to data collection – formulation of the informed consent
  2. During data collection:
    • Documentation of research data and the data collection process
    • Data type and format
    • Organization of data files, versioning
    • Quality assurance of data and metadata
    • Backups, integrity of data, access control and data storage
  3. After data collection:
    • Long-term preservation
    • Consideration of legal aspects regarding data protection and copyright
    • Data sharing

Further Resources and Tools

MANTRA (free interactive online course on managing data):

Instructions for DMPonline as well as sample plans: dataman/arbeiten/dmp_erstellen



RDMO (Research Data Management Organiser):

ARGOS: (for a step-by-step instruction to the tool see