Data Management Plans

A data management plan is just a written description of what you will do with your data during and after you complete your research. Some federal agencies now require formalized Data Management Plans. NSF requires a Data Management Plan be included in proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011, describing plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or asserting the absence of the need for such plans. A good Data Management Plan will help ensure that your research data is safe and appropriately available for sharing with other researchers.

Certain agencies and directorates have specific requirements for the Data Management Plans submitted to them.  The information below is provided to assist you with identifying and addressing these requirements.

Help with Your Data Management Plan

The DMPTool

A group of research institutions partnered to create an online tool, the DMPTool, to help generate data management plans.  Anyone can use this tool to create a data management plan.   The DMPTool Guide,, provides instructions for creating an account, getting started and using the tool.

A list of funders (including NSF) whose data management and sharing plans are currently supported in the DMPTool can be found at (look for a checkmark in the column, Supported in DMPTool).

The DMPTool Process
While you should refer to the DMPTool Guide,, for complete instructions, the process can be summarized as:

  • Select your Funding Agency
  • Step through the different sections in the plan
  • Read the Help Text for each section
  • Consider the questions within the Help Text
  • In the text box, compose your answers to the questions
  • Modify the answers into prose that makes sense as a paragraph
  • When you have finished all sections, export your DMP as "Rich Text" format
  • Review to ensure agency/directorate specific requirements have been addressed.

Other Resources


If you prefer to use a template, templates and other guidance can be found within the DMPTool website at,  Also, University Libraries has provided a list of links to resources, some of which include templates, at

DISCLAIMER:  The Office for Sponsored Programs hopes you will find these tools and other resources helpful but does not have information to verify their effectiveness in producing plans that will be feasible and/or acceptable to the funding agencies.