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Data Management

Data Management Plans: Overview

A data management plan (DMP) is a formal document describing data that have been or will be gathered in a study or project. Data management plans are an extremely important part of any grant application and, even when not required, they set the groundwork for more efficient, organized, and effective research.

Questions? Need support? UVM Libraries is developing services to support you in your data management planning needs. Please contact Christie Silkotch, Science and Data Librarian, at


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DMPTool is a free service that helps researchers and institutions to create, review, and share high-quality data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. DMPTool also compiles up-to-date funder requirements from large grant-awarding organizations and federal agencies.

UVM is a DMPTool partner institution. Researchers can log in with "Option 1" on the sign-in drop-down:

DMPTool Sign In Options


To begin the data management planning process, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What type of data are being created and what are the file formats?
  2. How much data are being produced, and at what growth rate? Will the data change?
  3. How long should the data be retained?
  4. How will data be organized? What directory and file naming conventions will be used?
  5. Do you need data identifiers?
  6. Are there tools and software needed to render the data?
  7. What facilities and equipment will be required for storage, preservation, and access of the data?
  8. Who will own and have access to the data?
  9. Who will be responsible for data management?
  10. Are there privacy, legal, ethical, or security requirements?
  11. Does the funder require a data sharing policy, data management plan, or other information?
  12. What policies (funding, institutional, and legal) apply to the data?
  13. Are the data properly described (metadata) and the overall project documented?
  14. How will you store and backup the data?
  15. Do you need to publish the data in a repository?
  16. How will data reuse be enabled and long-term preservation ensured after the original research is complete?

Why DMPs?

Data management plans can help you:

  • Conduct research efficiently by making your data practices explicit.
  • Describe how data will be maintained and what resources will be needed to preserve it.
  • Have well described and organized data to maintain data integrity and increase usability.
  • Enhance data security measures and minimize risk of data loss.
  • Facilitate re-use of data sets, open access, and data sharing.
  • Increase the impact of your research by making your data available to other researchers.
  • Organize your research to ensure research integrity and replication.
  • Comply with the federal agencies proposal or journal publishing requirements.