How do I create a Data Management Plan?

Create a plan

To create a plan, click the “Create plan” button on My dashboard or the top menu. This will take you to a wizard that helps you select the appropriate template:

  1. Enter a title for your research project. If applying for funding, use the project title as it appears in the proposal.
  2. Select the primary research organization. If you are associated with a participating institution/organization, this field will be pre-populated. You have the option to clear the field and select another organization from the list. Based on your selection, you will be presented with institution-specific templates and guidance. You can also check the box that “No organization is associated with this plan.”
  3. Select the primary funding organization. If you are required to include a data management plan as part of a grant proposal, select your funder from the list. You may be presented with a secondary dropdown menu if your funder has different requirements for specific programs (e.g., NSF, DOE). See the complete list of funder requirements supported by DMPTool. If your funder is not in the list or you are not applying for a grant, check the box for “No funder associated with this plan;” this selection will provide you with a generic template.

If you are just testing the tool or taking a course on data management, check the box “Mock project for test, practice, or educational purposes.” Marking your plans as a test will be reflected in usage statistics and prevent public or organizational sharing; this allows other users to find real sample plans more easily.

Once you have made your selections, click “Create plan.”

You can also make a copy of an existing plan (from the Actions menu next to the plan on My dashboard) and update it for a new research project and/or grant proposal.

Write your plan

The tabbed interface allows you to navigate through different functions when editing your plan.

  • “Project details” includes basic administrative details. The right-hand side of the page is where you can select up to 6 organizations to view additional guidance as you write your plan. The more information you provide here, the more useful your plan will be to you and others in the future (e.g., for data reuse and proper attribution). On the Edit profile page you can create or connect your ORCID iD; this is required by some funders and a growing list of publishers (Learn more at
  • “Plan overview” provides an overview of the questions that you will be asked. The following tab(s) present the questions to answer. There may be more than one tab if your funder or institution asks different sets of questions at different stages, e.g., at grant application and post-award. Guidance and comments are displayed in the right-hand panel beside each question. If you need more guidance or find there is too much, you can make adjustments on the “Project details” tab.
  • “Share” allows you to invite others to contribute to or comment on your plan. This is also where you can set your plan visibility (details below).
  • “Download” allows you to download your plan in various formats. You can adjust the formatting (font type, size, and margins) for PDF files, which may be helpful if working to page limits (e.g., NSF data management plans are limited to 2 pages).