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Try the DMPTool to create a data management plan.

What's a data management plan?

A data management plan is a formal document that outlines what you will do with your data during and after you complete your research. We find that most researchers have some form of a data management plan, but often don't know the full scope of issues to sort out or perhaps plan to figure it out later.

What's involved in developing one?

Developing a data management plan can be time-consuming, tedious, and daunting, but it's a very important step in ensuring that your research data is safe and sound for the present and future. With the right process and framework it doesn't take too long and can pay-off enormously in the long-run.

Who's requiring a plan?

Many federal funding agencies are now starting to require formalized Data Management Plans. Beginning on January 18, 2011, the National Science Foundation will require a 2-page plan as part of the formal, peer-reviewed proposal process. Other agencies will likely follow close behind.

We can help

We have been working a number of internal and external partners to make the development of data management plans a much less complicated task for you. Through a process of getting to know your research and data, we will match your specific needs with our knowledge of data management best practices in your field, to help you develop a data management plan that will work for you. By doing this work at the beginning of your research process, you will have a far easier time following-through and complying with funding agency and publisher requirements.

For those applying for funding from US agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), we recommend using the DMPTool. There is guidance for many of the NSF Directorate and Division requirements along with links to UC resources, services and help. Contact UC3 if you have questions and would like feedback on your plan.


Credit to the University of Virginia's Scientific Data Consulting Group and the MIT Libraries for permission to use and adapt their data management planning pages, and to members of the UC3 community. Please send us any comments about these guidelines.

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Last updated: April 30, 2013
Document owner: Perry Willett