Skip to Main Content

Research Data Management

Writing a Data Management Plan

Most funding agencies, publishers, or other research supporters require a data management plan. The idea being that if they fund your research, the data resulting from that research must be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable (FAIR). Having a plan in place for storing, describing, and managing your data is important in every research project and especially when working with a team so that everyone is aligned on file formats, naming, storage, and sharing. As a researcher, many reasons ensuring you have a plan for proper management of your research is important including:

  • Reduce the risk of data loss
  • Increase research efficiency and integrity
  • Make your research more visible
  • Enable collaboration

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP) will help you manage your data, meet funder requirements, and help others use your data if shared. A DMP is simply a 1-2 page summary explaining how you are planning to manage the data gathered in the course of your research project. Most funding agencies are asking researchers to submit a DMP as part of their grant application. A DMP should address the following questions:

  1. What type of data will you collect and how will it be described?
  2. How will you store and keep your data secure?
  3. Will you be able to allow access to your data once the project is complete? Who will be able to access the data, under what conditions, and for how long?

DMP Basic Components (Based on NSF general DMP guidelines): 

  • The TYPES of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  • The STANDARDS to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  • Policies for ACCESS and SHARING including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Policies and provisions for RE-USE, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  • Plans for ARCHIVING data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

The Data Management Planning Tool (DMPTool) is the authoritative way to build your data management plan. has templates from all the major funders, and sample language specific for Texas State University researchers to help you write a great DMP.

To get started, go to

  • Use your Texas State University email address
  • Click "Sign in with Institution to Continue" button
  • Use your Texas State NetID and password to login

DMPTool can now generate persistent, unique IDs (the DMP ID) for plans created within the application.

Funders' Guidance and Requirements on Data Management Plans

Always consult the specific data management requirements for your funding agency to write your data management. Links to additional resources and ideas are provided below:

To help investigators implementing the NIH DMS policy, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) offers Institute-specific guidance for drafting a DMS Plan, as well as tools and examples to supplement the NIH DMS policy and resources

If you have questions about the use of DMPTool, please get in touch with the University Libraries Data Curation Specialist: Xuan Zhou at