VCU LibrariesResearch Guides

DMPTool Help

DMPTool Dashboard

Your Dashboard will help you keep track of the data management plans you create. Click the Click the Create Plan button to start a new Data Management or Data Sharing plan.


Things to Consider

After looking at the requirements of the funding agency you should have some guidelines about what to cover in your plan.  Some of the things you should consider before writing your plan, with or without a funding agency requirement, include:

Data Type and Format:

·         Data collection methods. Data formats.
·         Data size, per experiment and the whole data set.
·         Is the data reproducible?  i.e. climate data or data from lab experiment that can be run again.
·         Data organization plans and file structures.

Data Storage

·         Where will data be stored as it is collected and analyzed?
·         Who is backing up and where are backups kept?
·         Where will data be stored for retention (institutional policy)?
·         What format should be used to store data?

Data Standards

·         Are there standards for data collection and documentation in your subject area?
·         Is there a community standard for adding key words to your data for sharing and future use?

Data Security

·         Are there any special security considerations, e.g. HIPAA ?
·         Who controls the data? Who is responsible for the data?
·         Will any of the data require extra security or privacy?
·         Will there be an embargo on the data?

Data Sharing

·         Does your funder require sharing?
·         Who might want to use the data and how?
·         If there is a suitable subject repository, do they have any requirements for depositing data?
·         Is data saved in a way that will allow others to understand and use it?

Long-term Access

·         How long must the data be retained according to funder, institution, etc.?
·         Does the format need to be changed for long-term preservation?
·         Where can the data be stored?
·         Who will maintain it?

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.

Checklist for Using DMPTool

Most U. S. federal funders' Data Management Plan guidance is represented, along with several academic foundations Data Management Plans. NIH Data Sharing Plans are also supported.

Checklist for using the DMPTool

Select your Funding Agency
Step through the different sections in the plan
Read the Help Text for each section
Consider the questions within the Help Text
In the text box, compose your answers to the questions
Modify the answers into prose that makes sense as a paragraph
When you have finished all sections, export your DMP as “Rich Text” format
When you have completed your data management plan, send a copy to Margaret Henderson ( I’ll review it for you and make any suggestions or recommendations, or help to answer questions for things you are uncertain about.

(instructions above from Data Management Consulting Group at UVa Library)

DMPTool - Creating a New DMP

Next you can name your project and choose your funding agency.  If your funder has multiple sets of guidance for different purposes, you will have the chance to choose the specific guidance template you want to follow.

The Create New Plan screen walks you through naming your plan and choosing which funder's guidelines you want to follow.


The tabs on the next screen let you move through stages of giving your plan some overview details, writing your plan, and sharing or downloading to print. If you want to jump directly to filling in the template, click the Write Plan tab.

The five navigation tabs for your DMP. The third tab, Write Plan, is where you will do most of your work.


After clicking Write Tab, you will see a stack of menus listing the sections that are appropriate to DMPs written for the funder you chose. Click each section to expand it and see a box for writing that section.

Write Plan menu options are based on the funding agency's template guidance. The example image shows DMP sections for an NSF-EHR data management plan.


When each DMP menu section expands, you will have a text box where you can write your data management (or data sharing) details for that section of the DMP. Enter the information for that DMP section, keeping your wording succinct because there may be a page limit. If you are not sure what goes in each section, see the guidance boxes or contact for a consultation.

Image shows text boxes for writing data management plan sections, and guidance menus. Image text says, "Each section gives you a template space to write in. The right-hand sidebar has funder guidance and DMP Tool suggestions to help."