Many funding agencies require proposals to include a section addressing plans for data management. This includes how you will handle data as it is being collected during the project, as well as plans for sharing and archiving once the project is complete. Here is a collection of resources we’ve found helpful for writing DMPs:
- NSF BIO Directorate guidance - Updated 4 page guidance document from 2020 with required content.
- An example data management plan from DataONE
- LTERNet guidance - for LTER proposals but generally applicable information.
- DataONE Best practices Primer - highlights the basics of data management throughout the data life cycle. Contains a succinct overview of essential DMP elements in section 5.
- ICPSR guidelines - generally applicable but particularly useful for social science data considerations. Contains many more links to resources and examples.
- The article Ten Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan - addresses data generation as well as re-use of secondary data
- Guidance from Oak Ridge National Labs - in depth guide to data management principles
- Data Management Planning Online Tool - a free tool to create customized data management plans, includes links to sample and public examples of DMPs.
Where relevant, you can save yourself wordy descriptions of any generated (i.e. newly collected or modeled) data and (especially) metadata if you can reference existing standards. For example, you can reference ISO 19115 and follow its specification for any geographical metadata you might generate, rather than get into the weeds on file formats, compression, etc. Or reference the Ecological Metadata Language standard for describing ecological datasets you generate.