Data management plan (DMP)
Creating a data management plan for a research project will support correct handling of data during and after a project. A data management plan describes how the research project will generate/collect data, how it is to be handled, organized, stored and published. A DMP also describes how data will be retained and archived after the project has ended. A DMP should be established at the beginning of a project and be regularly updated as the project develops.
The content in a data management plan is based on the specific project and can also vary depending on subject area, type of data and possible demands from funders of the project.
Besides the central documentation listed below, a DMP should also include basic administrative information such as project title, project leader, funder, funder´s registration number and version of the DMP with date.
The following parts are usually included when writing a DMP for a research project:
- Description of data – reuse of existing data and/or production of new data
- Documentation and data quality
- Storage and backup
- Legal and ethical aspects
- Accessibility and long-term storage
- Responsibility and resources
The data management plan should be registered in the diary, preferably with the application for the project. Your department can support you with the registration. Remember that a DMP is a public record and also that it is a document that can be shared within a project or with external parties like funders. Therefore avoid sensitive or classified information that shouldn´t be disclosed.
Uppsala University provides the digital tool DMPonline where researchers can create, update and share data management plans. Employees at the university can create an account in DMPonline and connect the account to UU. Once this is done you can log-in to DMPonline with the UU user-id by choosing ”Sign in with your institutional credentials”. In DMPonline there are templates for DMP:s following the guidelines from a number of research funders, e.g. Horizon 2020, Swedish Research Council. For Uppsala University there is also a general template that is based on the template from the Swedish Research Council.
A DMP can also be written as a basic text-document, but a web based tool makes a DMP easier to share and update. Projects connected to SciLifeLab can use SciLifeLab Data Centre´s tools for DMP:s.
In DMPonline there are examples of public data management plans.
Requirements from funders
An increasing number of research funders, both national and international, have requirements for data management plans for the projects that they fund. It is common that the DMP-template provided by funders focus on the so called FAIR-principles for data management.
Project with funding from the Swedish Research Council (VR) from 2019 and onwards are required to write a DMP. The administrating organisation (Uppsala University) must confirm that a data management plan is in place when the project starts, and also that the plan will be maintained. The DMP should not be sent to VR, but the head of responsible department must verify that a DMP exists before the project is approved in Prisma. For certain targeted calls a DMP is required at the time of application.
Formas also has a requirement for a data management plan for projects that receive funding. The DMP should not be sent to Formas, but must be delivered upon request.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) requires a DMP for projects that apply for Infrastructure for research and Projects.
Both VR, Formas and RJ recommends that a DMP follows the guidelines from Science Europe - Core Requirements for Data Management Plans. Projects with funding from VR are recommended to use a version developed by VR in collaboration with the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, SUHF. In DMPonline there is a template following the guidelines from VR. Those who prefer to use a word-file can use this template.
- Swedish Research Council – guidelines for a data management plan
- Formas - guidelines for a data management plan
- Riksbankens Jubileumsfond - about data management plans
- Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF): recommendation for a DMP (pdf) in Swedish
- Swedish National Data Service (SND): Checklist for a data management plan (pdf)
Project applying for grants from Horizon Europe must include a brief data management plan (DMP) with the application. Funded projects needs to provide a more detailed DMP, at the latest six months after the project has started. A DMP is mandatory for all projects that generate or handle data.
The DMP-template for Horizon Europe focus on the FAIR principles of data and the possibilities of re-using data from the project. The DMP should also describe how other resources like code, methods, protocols, new material, reagents etc. will be managed and potentially made available.
From 2017 and onwards all H2020-projects are included in the “Open Research Data Pilot” (ORD-pilot). Projects participating in the pilot are expected to make data from the project publicly available in an open data repository. The individual project must also create a data management plan that must be delivered no later than 6 months after the project has started. Open access to data from the project is primarily for data supporting the results presented in publications, but the project is also encouraged to make other data from the project available.
A project can ask to opt out from the open data pilot, and then there is no demand to make data from the project openly available or to write a DMP. But H2020 still encourages projects to create a DMP, even if it´s on a voluntary basis for those who don´t participate in the ORD-pilot. Possible reasons for a project to refer to when applying for opting out could be intellectual property rights or other copyright issues, sensitive personal data or if making data publicly available would jeopardize the project in any way.
The requirements for DMP:s by Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 include projects with funding from European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA), but there are parts of H2020 that are excluded from the ORD-pilot: co-funded projects (Co-Fund), prices, ERC Proof of Concept and ERA-NET projects that don´t produce data.
- DMP-template for Horizon Europe (Word)
- DMP-template for Horizon 2020 (Word)
- DMP-template for European Research Council
- H2020 Online manual: Open Access & Data management
- Open Research Data as the default - Frequently Asked Questions about the extension of the Open Research Data Pilot (pdf)
- Guidelines on Implementation of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in projects supported by the European Research Council under Horizon 2020 (pdf)
- Open Research Data and Data Management Plans. Information for ERC grantees (pdf)
Even if a data management plan isn´t required by all funders, it´s common that funders have guidelines for how data should be managed and, if possible, made publicly available. Examples of funders with requirements are Welcome Trust, that expect projects to write an outputs management plan that includes data generated by the project, and US National Science Foundation where grant applications must include a short DMP describing how data will be handled and made available.
The database Sherpa Juliet contains information about policies from funders on publications and data.
If you have questions about data management plans contact the data office.