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Data Management Planning

Many federal and private funding agencies now request information on how you will manage the data created or used during your project. In many cases, this is a required part of the grant proposal itself. The page below includes information about creating a data management plan, including tips, examples, and additional university resources. If you are interested in individual help, please see our Consultations page.

Creating a Data Management Plan

Need help getting started?

Not sure how to respond to a funder’s data management policy? Contact the Library for help. We can assist in creating data management plan templates specific to your RFP, identifying applicable campus resources and services, getting started with the DMPTool, meet one-on-one to discuss your proposal, and review your data management plan before submitting your final proposal. Contact us at: Please see our Consultations page for information on timelines and resources.

DMP Fundamentals

A data management plan is a tool to assist in the efficient management of your research. It is a written document that describes how you will organize, store, and share your research data – during and after you complete your research.

Although most researchers already engage in some kind of data management, a written plan allows you to document your policies and procedures, and consequently improve how you manage your research activities.

When do I need to create a data management plan? While we recommend always preparing a data management plan as a way to maintain discipline when collecting, analyzing, and preserving your research data, there are a few situations that require creation of a DMP:

  • When requesting Boise State storage of more than 500 gigabytes.
  • When submitting a proposal to a federal funding agency (NSF, NIH, others).

Basic Elements of a Data Management Plan

Although data management plan requirements for specific funders will vary, most plans typically include:

  • Description of the data being gathered including types, formats, and size,
  • Metadata used and the disciplinary standards applied to the metadata,
  • Organizational and management systems used,
  • Procedures used to assure data quality,
  • Information about responsible parties and their specific duties,
  • Description of the expected users of the data and policies regarding their access,
  • Plans for long-term access and preservation,
  • Budget plans for data management-related activities

Common Questions

  • What data will be collected?
    • What types and file formats?
    • How will it be created/captured?
    • How much data?
  • Is existing data being used in this project?
    • How/What/Why?
  • What metadata will be associated with the data?
    • What metadata standards or schema will you use?
    • How will it be stored and searched?
  • What data will be preserved for the long-term?
    • How long?
  • What transformations (to more shareable formats) will be necessary to prepare data for preservation/sharing?
  • Where will the data be stored during the project?
    • How/where will it be accessed/distributed?
  • Have you gained consent for data preservation/sharing?
    • How will you protect the identity of human participants?
    • How will you safeguard the location of protected research sites?
    • What are you doing to comply with IRB requirements?
    • What ethical/privacy issues are related to your data?
  • Who will be responsible for data archives?
    • How long will data be archived?
    • What backup procedures are in place?
    • Are you placing your data in a repository? Which one?
  • Who are potential data users?
    • Under what conditions will you share the data with them?
  • When will data be released and why is that time frame appropriate? (Will there be an embargo period?)
  • What is the process for gaining access to the data?
    • Is permission needed?
    • Will a data sharing agreement be required?

Tools and Resources


  • The Office of Sponsored Projects, the Office of Information Technology, and Albertsons Library have worked together to customize the DMPTool, an online resource to help researchers generate data management plans. To use the DMPTool, follow these steps:
    1. Go to:
    2. Select the Log In link in the upper right corner.
    3. Choose Boise State University from the Select Your Institution drop-down list.
    4. When prompted, log in using your myBoiseState username and password.
    5. If you are a new user, you will be prompted to provide basic profile information.
    6. Returning users will be provided the option to create a new data management plan or edit existing plans.

Costing Tool

  • Some funding agencies allow work related to data management to be included in budget proposals. For assistance in developing that part of your budget, consider using our costing tool.

Additional tools and resources can be found on the 5.2 Data Management excel sheet.

Additional Campus Support Services

Office of Information Technology  Provides technology solutions and services, including storage and servers

Office of Research Compliance  Provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students in conducting research in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations

Office of Research Development  Assists in proposal development and research capacity building

Office of Sponsored Programs  Provides expertise and collaboration when developing sponsored projects

Office of Technology Transfer  Supports research activities and manages industry relations and intellectual property commercialization for the university

Research Computing Support  Provides access to computational services and resources for faculty working on research projects