You may be writing a data management plan (DMP) because your funder requires it, but there are other reasons to consider having a DMP.
You will be able to find and understand the data you have collected when you need it.
You can avoid unnecessary duplication.
You can easily share data with collaborators.
You can back up your results if required.
Your grant proposal will be more competitive if you have a good DMP.
Managing your data well also makes it easier to share your data. Some funders and journals require you to provide the data to support your articles, and sharing data has been shown to have many positive impacts. Sharing your data:
Allows wider dissemination of your work and can lead to more citations
Promotes scientific integrity and debate
Leads to new collaborations between data users and data creators
Collins, FS and LA Tabak (2014) Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility. Nature, 505:612-613. January 30. doi:10.1038/505612a
A study by Piwowar, Day and Fridsma showed a 69% increase in citation, http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000308
based on: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/events/RDM-for-librarians/RDM-for-librarians-booklet.pdf
Your plan needs to take into account the data type and format you will be collecting, how and where you will save the data, data standards for the subject area, data security, data sharing, and long-term access plans.
DMPTool is an easy to use template tool for creating dat management plans. It will take you through the questions below and provide you with a ready to use plan for your grant.
Data Type and Format:
This is not an exhaustive list of considerations when developing a data management plan, but it will help you think about some of the things funders will be looking for when they review your plan.
If you plan to use your data for a clinical trial, to apply for a patent, etc., you should be more rigorous in your planning.
FDA Guidance and Standards
Guidance for Industry:Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures - Scope and Application (pdf) gives guidance on how to handle electronic records from computer-assisted research to meet legal scrutiny.
Please check the VCU Policy Library for other policies that might be applicable to your research.
See further information for Inventors and Creators on the website Office of Research Tech Transfer website.