Data Management Plan

The most efficient way to integrate RDM into a research project is to make a plan, or more specifically a research Data Management Plan (DMP). In the UK and the US funding agencies require researchers seeking grants to submit a formal DMP detailing how they will organize and preserve their data during and after their study. There exist several different types and formats of both data and research, and as a result there does not exist one universal DMP. That being said almost all DMPs contain the following core elements: metadata, policies for access and sharing, policies for re-use and redistribution, and plans for archiving and preservation.

If you are looking to learn more about DMPs browse the following resources:

If you are looking to get started on your DMP we recommend that you use DMP Assistant -- a Canadian-built, web-based, bilingual data management planning tool developed by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Portage Network. DMP Assistant allows you to create, share and export data management plans that are aligned with the Tri-Agencies Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management.

DMP creation tools from other countries include:  

  • DMPTool (generates DMP in line with US grant & institution requirements)
  • DMPOnline (generates DMP in line with UK grant & institution requirements)
How can the Library Help?
Should you have any questions that are not covered in the relevant Frequently Asked Questions section or require any assistance in the data planning phase of your research please contact and the McMaster University Library Maps, Data, GIS Department would be pleased to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is a DMP?

A DMP is a formal document, often submitted with a grant application that outlines your intended data documentation, preservation, and access. This plan outlines not only how data will be handled during the project, but also following its completion. 

Why do I need a DMP?

The submission of a DMP is required by some funding agencies, but more importantly DMPs help organize the research process, identify challenges with long-term data preservation and accessibility, and foster data stewardship. DMPs strive to ensure that data can be interpreted, accessed, and used in the future. By establishing a DMP prior to beginning a project saves time long-term as there is no need to re-organize or reformat the data to be preserved and readily shared with colleagues. If you are working with colleagues and/or research assistants the DMP can assist in maintaining consistent data handling. 

What are some good templates for my DMP?

There exist a variety of different DMP templates with several common elements, but there is not real standard template yet in Canada. All of these templates are from organizations in the UK and US.

More FAQs