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Planning your data

What is a data management plan?

"A data management plan is an opportunity to think about the resources that will be required during the lifetime of the research project and to make sure that any necessary resources will be available for the project"1

Many funding bodies require a data management plan to:

  • demonstrate both that the data will be curated and hosted during any project.
  • outline any costs associated with this.

Some of the questions the plan may cover are:

1.    Are there ethical considerations to account for when collecting the data?

2.    How will data containing personal or identifiable information be handled and secured?

3.    What type of and how much storage do you require?  Do you need a lot of local disk space to store copies of standard datasets?

4.    Will you be creating data which should be deposited in a long-term archive, or published online?

5.    How will you back up your data?

6.    How long will you require the storage for? Is data being archived or published? Does your funder require data publication?

7.    How will this storage be provided?

8.    What are the costs of storing the data? How will these costs be met? 


The Digital Curation Centre provides help with outlining and developing a data management plan via DMPOnline. It contains plan templates for a variety of funding bodies, pre-formatted with specific questions that need to be answered as part of a grant application.

Need help with writing a research data management plan?

Staff in the Joint Research Management Office and IT Services can help you write one. Contact to find out more.

There is a QMPlus module to help you get started with Data Management Planning.

For more information browse our Research Data Management section or contact Open Research Services.

1Welburn, S (nd). Sound Data Management Training, SoDaMaT Wiki; Accessed on 6th March 2015.

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