A data management plan (DMP) is a structured document that outlines how research data will be collected, organized, stored, and shared throughout the lifecycle of a research project.  Many grant agencies and funding bodies require researchers to submit a data management plan (DMP) as part of their grant proposal.  It serves as a roadmap for researchers to ensure that their data is effectively managed, preserved, and made accessible to others. They are a required part of the grant writing process.

Why create a DMP?

  • Data Integrity: Establish protocols for data collection, storage, and documentation to maintain the accuracy and reliability of research findings.
  • Reproducibility: Facilitate the replication of research results by providing clear instructions on how data was collected, processed, and analyzed.
  • Transparency: Foster openness by detailing data sources, methodologies, and any restrictions or limitations associated with the data.
  • Collaboration: Enable seamless collaboration among researchers by defining roles, responsibilities, and data sharing mechanisms.
  • Meet Funding Requirements: Comply with grant agency mandates by submitting a DMP as part of grant proposals or project deliverables.
  • Ensure Compliance: Adhere to ethical, legal, and regulatory requirements related to data privacy, security, and sharing.
  • Long-Term Preservation: Plan for the long-term preservation and accessibility of valuable research data beyond the duration of the project.
  • Research Impact: Maximize the impact of research outcomes by making data discoverable, accessible, and reusable by other researchers and stakeholders.


Repositories play a crucial role in the data management process by providing secure, centralized, accessible, and sustainable platforms for storing, sharing, and preserving research data. When writing your data management plan it is important to choose the best repository for your data.

  • Disciplinary repositories: Some disciplines have dedicated repositories for researchers who do work in specific academic fields.
  • Funding agency repositories: Agencies--such as the NIH--provide repository services for grant funded projects.
  • Generalist repositories: Some organizations provide generalist repositories such as Harvard Dataverse and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).
  • Institutional repositories: Indiana University provides repository services free of charge to all IU researchers through IU DataCORE.  

Resources at IU

  • IU DataCORE: IU's institutional repository that is free of charge to all IU researchers: https://datacore.iu.edu/. 
  • Data Management Consultation: Meet with IU's data services librarian (Ethan Fridmanski: ejfridma@iu.edu) to assist with any step in the process. 
  • DMPTool: DMPTool is an online platform designed to assist researchers in creating data management plans (DMPs) tailored to the specific requirements of funding agencies, institutions, and research projects: https://dmptool.org/. 
  • Data Management Plan Guide: coming soon...
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI): IU provides DOIs for datasets deposited to IU DataCORE free of charge.
  • UITS Research Technologies: Research technologies provides IU researchers with multiple computing and storage services for data heavy projects: https://kb.iu.edu/d/iurt. 
  • SecureMyResearch: Provides IU researchers with consulting and resources to help protect and secure sensitive data: https://cacr.iu.edu/projects/SecureMyResearch/index.html.