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Data Management and Sharing Plans

This guide will take you through each of the elements you need to consider when creating a data management and sharing plan

Data Management Planning

A Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) is a document of varying formats which describes how a researcher or research group will steward data collected before, during and after a research project. A DMSP outlines types of data created, how it will be stored, organized and shared.

How do I make a data management and sharing plan?

The California Digital Library's DMPTool is a free online tool that can be used by anyone to develop generic or funder-specific DMSPs. It is the recommended interface for creating DMSP's as required by specific funding agencies and incudes step-by-step instructions and guidance. The tool also offers resources such as templates for public funding agencies to help fulfill your data management requirements. 

With William & Mary as an administrator of the DMPTool, you will be able to log in with your WM ID, save, share and collaborate on DMSP creation, submit DMSP for review by librarians, and access information about William & Mary specific support. 

The contents of a good data management and sharing plan should include:

  • DESCRIPTION of the types of data to be authored, including nature, scope, and scale;
  • ​PROVISIONS surrounding preservation, access and sharing; 
  • STANDARDS that would be applied, for example format and metadata content;
  • RIGHTS AND LICENSING information;
  • CONCERNS surrounding privacy and security; 
  • ​PLANS for selection and retention of data, eventual transition or termination of the data collection, and how you will share your data in the future.

Brainstorm how you would respond to each of these elements before visiting the DMPTool to start writing. It can be helpful to look at examples of public plans to help with the brainstorming process. You can find example plans specific to the funding agency you are applying to for grant funding.  

More resources and plan examples can be found via the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research).

DMSPs not required by funding agencies can be created in any format, but we recommend they still include the elements listed above.

Additional guides on research data management