Data Management Plans – plan ahead now

Eva Borger
Tuesday 17 April 2018

An important component of research data management is a sound data management plan (DMP). It is good practice to have one at the start of any research project, but even more so, many funders now require a DMP (alternatively, a data or resource sharing plan) to be submitted as part of grant applications.
Some might call them DMPs, others data or resource sharing plan, but the gist is the same: It is a document, which describes the data , outputs, models, code or material that will be collected and how it will be managed.
Of course, it is important to tick all the boxes before submitting a grant application, but the benefits of creating a DMP go well beyond funder compliance. Formulating a DMP requires you to consider aspects of your research such as file formats, storage requirements, ethics, copyright and plans for archiving early on in your project, saving time and costs at a later stage [1].
Good reads which remind us of this are a recent Nature editorial which makes the case for why “Everyone needs a data-management plan” [2] and Quirin Schiermeier’ s Career Feature in the same edition which provides an excellent introduction to writing and understanding data management plans [3].
If you would like any hands-on advise on writing your own DMP, do not hesitate to get in touch with the Research Data Management team at the University Library at [email protected].

  1. Jones, S. (2011). ‘How to Develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre. Available online:
  2. Everyone needs a data-management plan. (2018). Nature, 555(7696), 286–286.
  3. Schiermeier, Q. (2018). Data management made simple. Nature, 555(7696), 403–405.

Related topics

Contact us

Open Research
Walter Bower House
Eden Campus
Main Street
St Andrews
KY16 0US
Fife, Scotland, UK

Open Access email:
[email protected]
Research Data email:
[email protected]

Phone: 01334 468851(OA) / 01334 462343(RDM)