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Writing a Data Management Plan

Before starting your research project, thinking about your work in the context of the data you will produce and how you will take care of it will help you identify resources you will need to complete your project whether your research is funded or not.

You will likely be required to submit a data management plan with any application for federal funding. Each funding agency has specific requirements, but data management plans generally include the following:

  • The scope of data you expect to produce during your project
  • Where you will store the data at all stages of the project
  • How you will document the data so that it remains usable
  • Who is responsible for making sure the work gets done
  • What data you plan on sharing or preserving at the end of the project, and how you will do it

To provide more specific guidance, Northwestern University Libraries has partnered with DMPTool, a web application that provides:

  • Data management plan templates formatted for a range of funding agencies
  • Northwestern-specific guidance about data management plan components
  • An interface to write your data management plan that will render it in your funding agency’s preferred format
  • The option to ask for feedback from Northwestern data management specialists

You will need to log in with your Northwestern email address to access these resources. If you do not want to sign in, you can view public DMP templates, write your plan, and then email it to to request a review.