Data management plan

On this wiki page you can find information about what a data management plan is, NTNU's guidelines, why a data management plan is useful and what it should contain to fulfill necessary requirements.

Topic page about research data

Norsk versjon - Datahåndteringsplan

What is a data management plan (DMP)?

A DMP is a document describing how data in a research project will be managed, from project start up, throughout the research process and in the time after completion of the project.

A DMP describes what data will be collected or generated. The plan states how the data will be stored, described with metadata, analysed and, if possible, shared. The plan also addresses issues related to rights, privacy and costs.

A DMP is a tool for planning and raising awareness, and should be a "living document" which is updated during the course of the research project.

Why write a DMP?

Setting up a DMP in the early phases of a research project can help to identify challenges and issues at an early stage. These can be related to information security, documentation, costs and responsibilities.

A good plan for how to organize and describe the data can make the project work more effective by making it easier to understand and work with the data, especially in larger research projects. Good documentation and data management contributes to increased data quality, as well as verifiability and reuse.

According to NTNU's Guidelines for Policy for Open Science, all research projects must have a DMP, and in the National strategy on access to and sharing of research data from the Ministry of Education and Research there is a clear expectation that research institutions have procedures for approval of data management plans.

Several research funding agencies also have requirements that have to be met by the projects they fund:

How to write a DMP

The content and scope of a DMP will vary, but there are some topics that should be addressed:

  • Data collection, methods
  • Description of data, formats, organising, metadata
  • Storing, archiving, backup, sharing
  • Intellectual rights, licences, privacy, ethics
  • Costs, responsibility

Important: If your data includes personal data, specific requirements apply. For more information, see Collection of personal data for research projects.

Courses and guidance

NTNU University Library holds regular workshops on how to write a good data management plan in The Virtual Library. Presentation from the course: DMP in one-two-three.

For a broader introduction to open science and data mangement at NTNU see the online course Research data management and open science.

The NTNU University Library and NTNU IT-services have established a support service for research data, Research Data @NTNU. Please contact us if you have questions or if want to book a visit at your department or in your research group.

Choosing a tool

There are several useful online tools and templates which can help you create a DMP. Here are recommendations if you are setting up a DMP at NTNU:

  • EU project
    • Tool: DMPOnline
    • Template: Horizon Europe
    • Comment: You have to register your own user and choose "other" for Organization.
  • Projects processing personal data
    • Tool: Sikt DMP
    • Comment: Log in using Feide (NTNU-user). The plan can be shared with others. Sikt also offers secure archiving of research data.
    • The tool is adapted to NTNU's guidelines for collection, storage and transfer and is suitable for smaller projects (for example master's projects). For larger projects with more complex data flows, it may be worthwhile to use DMPOnline and the Science Europe template (see under "All other projects").
  • Life sciences
  • Clinical study
    • Contact the Clinical Research Unit, Klinforsk (Klinisk forskningsenhet Midt-Norge)
    • Comment: A designated support service at NTNU/St. Olav
  • All other projects: DMPOnline
    • Tool: DMPOnline
    • Template: Science Europe
    • Comment: You have to register your own user and choose "other" for Organization. Choose "Science Europe" under "Primary funding organization", or go to the "Reference"tab > Funder Requirements and create a new plan from the Science Europe template.


Science Europe Practical Guide provides an introduction to the core requirements for a data management plan.

NTNU-adapted guidance to the Science Europe template in DMPOnline can be found here.

Roles and responsibilities

NTNU's guidelines for open science specify the individual researcher's responsibility for creating a DMP for each research project.

The support service Research Data @NTNU consists of resource persons from the University Library and the IT department. Research Data @NTNU offers direct advice and guidance to projects, to academic staff or in collaboration with, for example, research advisers and administration at the individual faculty/institute.

Publishing the DMP

The Research Council encourages open publication of DMPs. We recommend that you download your DMP from the tool that you have chosen, and publish this document through either BIRD or Zenodo.

Useful resources

Here are some links to different resources that might be useful when you are writing a data management plan, in addition to some on data mangement in general and other related topics.

See also


  • EU advisors at your faculty - if you want help to set up a DMP when you are writing applications for research funding
  • Research Data @NTNU - if you have questions, feedback or need advice when developing a data management plan, contact Research Data @NTNU through NTNU Hjelp. External users can send an email to (if you have an NTNU user account your request will be handled in the NTNU Hjelp portal).
  • Your local library - if you have other questions about library services

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