Someone writing a data management plan

Data Management Plan

Someone writing a data management plan
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A data management plan (DMP) describes the strategies and measures for handling research data during and after a project. Its goal is to approach and determine the technical, organizational and legal aspects of research data management as early as possible. Therefore, the development of a data management plan should be part of project planning, and is expected by a growing number of research funding organizations (e.g. DFG, EU Horizon 2020) when applying for research funds.

Aspects of a data management plan

A data management plan should include the following topics:

  • A project description
  • Existing types of data
  • Data generated in the project
  • Data organisation
  • Administrative and legal aspects
  • Archiving, data exchange and data publication
  • Responsibilities and duties
  • Costs and resources

Requirements of the funding agencies

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

The DFG guidelines for submitting project proposals (german) state that project proposals submitted to the DFG must include a section on the handling of research data. The section should include information on the type, scope and documentation of the data as well as the planned storage and possibilities for subsequent use. It is not currently necessary to update the information during the course of the project. 

European Commission - Horizon Europe

For the initial application for project funding of the Horizon Europe program, only a section with considerations on research data management is required.  A complete DMP must be submitted after the project is funded. An update of the DMP is required in case of significant changes, as well as at the end of the project.

European Commission - Horizon 2020

European Commission - ERC 

The European Commission/ERC (European Research Council) has issued information concerning Data Management Plan in ERC projects. The Data Management Plan must be submitted by ERC project month 6.

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

The BMBF requires a data management plan for some funding programs. If a DMP is required, it must be submitted directly with the application. The content of the DMP and whether it needs to be updated depends on the respective funding program.

  • DMP templates of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for  a BMBF-proposal (in German)
  • Checklist for creating a data management plan in empirical educational research (in German)

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)

The BMEL also wants to contribute to the security and reusability of research data within the framework of its funding measures and expects the funded research projects to operate a research data management according to the FAIR Data principles. For this purpose, the project-executing agency, the Federal Institute for Agriculture and Food (ptble), has prepared a handout for applicants and funding recipients. It contains questions to be considered in the conception and implementation of a data management plan (DMP) and describes the reporting and documentation obligations towards the BMEL. 


Checklists and Guidelines Expand entry

Guidance and Checklist for writing a data management plan (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, German)
Guide on the structure of data management plans (Digital Curation Center, DCC)
Checklist for writing a data management plan (Digital Curation Center, DCC)
Guidance for writing a data management plan (Natural Environment Research Council, NERC)
Elements of a data management plan (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, ICPSR)

Templates and Examples Expand entry
Tools Expand entry

These tools for the creation of data management plans are already in use in the scientific community:

The costs for the data management can be calculated using free tools like OpenAIRE RDM costs tool.