Data Management

Tools, tips and checklists for creating a data management plan and managing data you generate

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan is a document that describes how data on a research project will be managed and organized, both during the project and after it is finished.

Helpful Tips

A data management plan (DMP) should include the following information:

  • An account of the types of data you plan to create in your project
  • How you will document and organize your data
  • How you will store/manage your data and if necessary, how you will keep it secure
  • How you will manage your data after the completion of the project
  • How you will make your data available for reuse

Consider any policies or intellectual property rights associated with any of the data you are using, and if you are being funded, be sure to check for any requirements regarding data management or DMPs. Data loss is an ongoing problem in the world of research, and ensuring that you are managing your data effectively is an essential part of the project-planning process.

Further Information & Resources

  • Contact the Academic & Research Computing Office at WPI (email) if you would like a consultation on your data management plan.
  • The DMP Tool from the University of California is a great free resource you can use to create your plan, whether it is a generic plan or one that has to meet specific funder requirements. 
  • Federal agencies are increasingly including DMP-related mandates as part of their funding requirements. Here is the NIH's Data Sharing Policy & Implementation Guidance. The NSF's page on Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results includes DMP requirements for different NSF units, as well as more general data management guidance for grant proposals.
  • MIT's DMP funder requirements page has additional information on relevant mandates and the DMP Tool
  • SPARC's page aggregating current federal public access plans is very comprehensive and up-to-date.