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Research Data Management

Help with data management plans

Data Management Checklist

If you would like to schedule a consultation with a data specialist for assistance with writing a data management plan, please contact Rob Sippel (see "Subject Guide" box to the left). The following questions can help you to begin to think about how you will manage your data and the answers will be useful for developing the content of a data management plan.

Data Production

  • What type(s) of data will be produced?
  • What file format(s) will the data be saved as? Are those file formats proprietary? Will they degrade?
  • Will the data be reproducible?
  • Do you need tools or software to create/process/visualize the data?

Data Size

  • How much data will it be, and at what growth rate?
  • How often will it change?

Data Usage

  • Who will potentially be using your data both now and later?

Data Retention

  • How long should it be retained? (e.g., 3-5 years, 10-20 years, permanently).
  • Does your institution have a data retention policy?

Privacy and Security

  • Any special privacy or security requirements? (e.g., personal data, high-security data).

Data Sharing

  • Any sharing requirements? (e.g., funder data sharing policy).
  • Have you chosen a repository in which to archive your data?

Data Management Plan

  • Does your funding agency require a data management plan in the grant proposal?

Data Documentation

  • How will you be documenting your data and project?
  • What directory and file naming convention will be used?
  • What project and data identifiers will be assigned?
  • Is there a schema, ontological, or other metadata standard in your field for sharing data with others?

Storage and Backup

  • What are the strategies for storage and backup of the data?
  • Are you aware of support backups?


  • When and where will the work be published?


  • Who in the research group will be responsible for data management?
  • Who controls the data (PI, student, lab, institution, funder)?

Tools for writing your DMP

Example Data Management Plans