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Data Management Plans

As a planning instrument, the data management plan forms the basis of professional research data management. It contains the systematic presentation of the respective research project and the handling of the generated research data in the individual phases of its life cycle, from its collection to its provision. 

Creating a data management plan involves a certain amount of time, but allows for smooth and efficient research data management during the research process. Data management plans are expected by German and international research funding organisations such as the DFG when submitting proposals and are also endorsed by other actors in science policy. The information required will depend on the funding organisation, but the plan should contain general information about the project and then answer the following questions:

  • Which data is already available and can be reused? 
  • Which data is generated with which methods?
  • Which file formats are created and how should the files be organized and managed? (Workflow, Metadata, Standards)
  • How is the data stored?
  • Which data are shared with colleagues outside the project, which remain within the project group?
  • Which data should be kept permanently?
  • Who is responsible for which tasks? 
  • What costs arise for the processing, storage and archiving of data?

A template for a data management plan can be found here.