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Planning is critical to the success of any research project. Before you start, think through as many of the details as possible so you can budget enough time and resources to get everything accomplished. If you are requesting funding for your research, a Data Management Plan (DMP) may be required.

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A DMP is a written document describing your data and what you will do with it during and after your research project. Most funding agencies require one, and each has specific requirements. Even if not required, writing a DMP can be a useful exercise to help you keep your data organized.

What goes into a DMP?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” template, but the following are the parts typically included.

Data Types

  • What types of data will your project produce (samples, specimens, records, recordings)?
  • What file formats will you use?
  • Are those formats sustainable for the long-term?
  • How much data is there?
  • What tools and methods will you use to process it?


  • How will you document and organize your data?
  • How will you label and describe your data?
  • How will you name and organize your files?
  • How will you ensure consistency across your team?
  • Is there a metadata schema for your subject area?

Access and Sharing

  • Who will have access to your data during and after the research process?
  • What forms of your data will you publish? Not all of it must be published.
  • What security, confidentiality and intellectual property requirements apply to your data?
  • How will you address any privacy, copyright, or ethical issues?
  • Who will have access? Are there any security concerns?


  • What are your plans for access, sharing, and re-use?
  • If you publish your data, which copyright license will you choose?
  • Who can re-use your data and for what purpose?
  • How should your data be cited (is there a DOI?)?


  • What are your plans for long-term archiving?
  • Who will be responsible for the data after your project is finished?
  • Where will your data be deposited? What data will you preserve and for how long?
  • How often will you backup your data?
  • What if software changes?  Will you need to update your files to a new/open format?
  • What resources will you need? How much will it cost? How will you cover these costs?

Tools and Resources

  • The DMPTool is designed to help researchers create ready-to-use data management plans tailored to specific disciplines and/or funding agencies. 
  • Click “Get Started” and choose “University of Texas at Austin”
  • Log in with your UT EID
  • Access templates with wording specific to funders and to UT resources


Data Management Plan Support

This link ( will send an email to librarians who can help with Data Management Plan questions. Someone will get back to you shortly.

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