The data produced during research projects requires substantial investments of time and resources and is thus a highly valuable asset. Because these investments are significant, many federal funding agencies require DMPs as part of their grant applications. Many funding agencies further mandate that research data be made publicly accessible–usually within 12 months of publication–all of which means that a practical and thorough DMP is a vital part of securing a grant. 

In our roles as information professionals and subject area experts, the members of RDS have gathered the resources in this guide to help you compose your DMP. These resources focus on best practices in all aspects of data management procedures, especially as they relate to writing your DMP. You can also contact us at any stage of the DMP writing process. We are here to help. 

This guide provides an overview of the concepts, procedures, and terms used in data management, with the focus of applying them when creating an effective data management plan. We will point out some best practices throughout each section, give writing prompts, and point to other resources on our website that have additional information about data management practices to consider when creating a DMP.

Federal Funding Requirements

It is important to remember that different funding agencies have different data management requirements which means there is no universal way to write a DMP for your project. To help you navigate these complex issues, we have gathered information on federal funding requirements


We also encourage you to use DMPTool which is a powerful tool for helping you through the DMP writing process. UW-Madison is a member institution in DMPTool giving you access to valuable information about DMPs and how to craft them.