Research data are an important asset that requires stewardship during and after a research project. A data management plan helps researchers to prepare data for use within a project and identifies strategies and services to support their data after a project finishes. By identifying best practices in data management during a planning stage, the whole research process is more efficient.
Data management plans (DMPs) are widely recognized in the international research community as a best practice. A DMP describes the data and metadata to be gathered in a research project and includes information about the data files, plans for data storage, and rules for sharing the data. Writing a DMP can help organize the research process and provide consistent guidelines for handling data.
Portage’s DMP Assistant is a tool that is freely available to all researchers and provides specialized guidance to help researchers develop their own data management plan. It takes users step-by-step through a series of questions based on a general template for research data stewardship. It also offers the option of fulfilling DMP requirements of specific funders or using templates from other organizations.