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Research Data Management (RDM)

Resources to help researchers manage their research data, with an emphasis on Canadian tools.

Data Management Plans

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document that sets out how you will organize, store, and share your research data throughout each stage of your research project. It is a living document that can be modified to accommodate changes over the course of your research. Establishing a DMP at the start of your research project can make the process of handling your data easier throughout the research lifecycle.

A growing number of funding agencies, including the Tri-Agencies of Canada, now require researchers to submit a DMP as part of their grant applications.

Why is a Data Management Plan important?

  • To ensure that your research data will be accessible and usable in the future - by yourself and by others.
  • To create and maintain a permanent archive of the data that supports your research findings.
  • To meet funding agency and/or publisher requirements for data accessibility.

This short video From NYU Health Sciences Library demonstrates what can go wrong without a DMP.

UPDATE: Tri-Agency funding opportunities requiring DMPs are listed here.


  • Network Grants in Skin Health, Bone Health and Muscular Dystrophy (October 2022)
  • Team Grants: Strengthening the Health Workforce for System Transformation (June 2023)
    Note: Formerly "Virtual Care/Digital Health Team Grants"
  • Team Grants: Lung Health (July 2023)
  • Operating Grant: Clinical Trials Projects (July 2023)
  • Team Grants: Improving Health and Administrative Data and Monitoring for Rare Diseases (August 2023)
  • Infectious and Congenital Syphilis in Canada: Implementation and Intervention Research Response (September 2023)
  • Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (September 2023)
  • Team Grants: Embracing Diversity to Achieve Precision and Health Equity (November 2023)


  • Team Grants: HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections Community-Based Research (date to be determined)
  • Directed Grant: Canadian Immunization Network Renewal (date to be determined)


  • Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants - Individual and Project (November 2023)


  • Partnership Grants Stage 2 (October 2023)

For help with DMPs, contact

There are many tools available to help you create your DMP, such as DMP Assistant (web-based, Canadian, and free to use). The general-purpose 'Portage Template' in DMP Assistant provides a useful set of basic questions about data to consider when engaging in a research project:

ICPSR's Framework for Creating a Data Management Plan offers a simple outline for recommended sections to include in a DMP, along with explanations and example text.

The Digital Curation Centre’s Checklist for a Data Management Plan provides a similar collection of questions for putting together a comprehensive DMP:

Project Description

  • What is the nature of your research project?
  • What research questions are you addressing?
  • For what purpose are the data being collected or created?

Related Policies

  • Are there any existing procedures that you will base your approach on?
  • Does your department/group have data management guidelines?
  • Does your institution have a data protection or security policy that you will follow?
  • Does your institution have a Research Data Management (RDM) policy?
  • Does your funder have a Research Data Management (RDM) policy?
  • Are there any formal standards that you will adopt?

Data Collection

  • What data will you collect or create?

    • What type, format and volume of data?

    • Do your chosen formats and software enable sharing and long-term access to the data?
    • Are there any existing data that you can reuse?
  • How will the data be collected or created?
    • What standards or methodologies will you use?
    • How will you structure and name your folders and files?
    • How will you handle versioning?
    • What quality assurance processes will you adopt?

Documentation and Metadata

  • ​What documentation and metadata (description of data) will accompany the data?
    • What supporting information is needed for the data to be to be read and interpreted in the future?
    • How will you capture / create this documentation and metadata?
    • What metadata standards will you use and why?

Ethics and Legal Compliance

  • ​How will you manage any ethical issues?
    • Have you gained consent for data preservation and sharing?
    • How will you protect the identity of participants if required? e.g. via anonymisation
    • How will sensitive data be handled to ensure it is stored and transferred securely?
  • How will you manage copyright and intellectual property rights issues?
    • Who owns the data?
    • How will the data be licensed for reuse?
    • Are there any restrictions on the reuse of third-party data?
    • Will data sharing be postponed / restricted e.g. to publish or seek patents?

Storage and Backup

  • How will the data be stored and backed up during research?
    • Do you have sufficient storage or will you need to include charges for additional
    • How will the data be backed up?
    • Who will be responsible for backup and recovery?
    • How will the data be recovered in the event of an incident?
  • How will you manage access and security?
    • What are the risks to data security and how will these be managed?
    • How will you control access to keep the data secure?
    • How will you ensure that collaborators can access your data securely?
    • If creating or collecting data in the field, how will you ensure its safe transfer into your
      main secured systems?

Selection and Preservation

  • ​Which data should be retained, shared, and/or preserved?
    • What data must be retained/destroyed for contractual, legal, or regulatory purposes?
    • How will you decide what other data to keep?
    • What are the foreseeable research uses for the data?
    • How long will the data be retained and preserved?
  • What is the long-term preservation plan for the dataset?
    • Where (e.g. in which repository or archive) will the data be held?
    • What costs, if any, will your selected data repository or archive charge?
    • Have you costed in time and effort to prepare the data for sharing / preservation?

Data Sharing

  • How will you share the data?
    • How will potential users find out about your data?
    • With whom will you share the data, and under what conditions?
    • Will you share data via a repository, handle requests directly, or use another mechanism?
    • When will you make the data available?
    • Will you pursue getting a persistent identifier for your data? (Hint: always yes if at all possible!)
  • Are any restrictions on data sharing required?
    • What action will you take to overcome or minimise restrictions?
    • For how long do you need exclusive use of the data and why?
    • Will a data sharing agreement (or equivalent) be required?

Responsibilities and Resources

  • Who will be responsible for data management?
    • Who is responsible for implementing the DMP, and ensuring it is reviewed and revised?
    • Who will be responsible for each data management activity?
    • How will responsibilities be split across partner sites in collaborative research projects?
    • Will data ownership and responsibilities for RDM be part of any consortium agreement
      or contract agreed between partners?
  • What resources will you require to implement your plan? 
    • Is additional specialist expertise (or training for existing staff) required?
    • Do you require hardware or software which is additional or exceptional to existing
      institutional provision?
    • Will charges be applied by data repositories?

DMP Assistant

DMP Assistant is a free online tool specifically for Canadian scholars to help them prepare DMPs that meet the data accessibility requirements for Tri-Agency funding. Developed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada, it follows best practices in data management and walks researchers step-by-step through key data management questions. A variety of templates and example DMPs are provided to guide researchers.

How to use DMP Assistant:

1. Create an account:

*NEW: You can now select Kwantlen Polytechnic University as your Organization!

2. Log in. The page will open to your Dashboard, from which you can view your existing DMPs or create a new one.

3. Click the 'Create Plan' button on the Dashboard, and answer the initial questions (project title and primary research organization). Once you answer these, you will be given a list of DMP templates to choose from. The default "Portage Template" should meet typical data management requirements. [Note: KPU has not yet created a customized institutional template.]

4. Once the plan is created, answer the questions. Questions with a * are mandatory. Guidance is provided in a box to the right of each question. Note that there are multiple tabs: Project Details, Contributors, Plan Overview, Write Plan, Share, Download.

5. Export or print your plan as a PDF to submit to funders or add as an attachment in ROMEO.

6. Revise the plan throughout your research process as needed.

If you have any questions about using DMP Assistant or writing your DMP, contact


Other DMP Creation Tools:

DMPTool: jointly developed by eight institutions in US in 2011. It provides detailed guidance and links to general and institutional resources and walks a researcher through the process of generating a comprehensive plan tailored to specific DMP requirements.

DMPonline: jointly developed by the Digital Curation Centre of UK and the University of California Curation Center. There are a number of templates within the tool based on the requirements of different funders and institutions.  Guidance is provided to help researchers interpret and answer the questions.

Canadian DMP templates and examples:

More DMP examples from the U.S. and Europe:

Public DMPs at DMPTool

All publicly available DMPs created with the California Digital Libraries' DMPTool.

Public DMPs from DMP Online

Hundreds of publicly available DMPs created using the Digital Curation Centre's DMP Online tool.

DMP Template for the Social Sciences
This template was developed in the project e-infrastructures Austria-Plus, created by AUSSDA - The Austrian Social Sciences Data Archive and WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Many researchers make their DMPs public; however, it should be noted that they are not reviewed for quality or completeness.