Not sure where to start writing your data management plan? Managing data in different disciplines can sometimes require very different strategies, standards, and considerations. Here are several examples of plans written across different disciplines to guide your own thinking.
Education and Human Resources
The NSF directorate lists several context-specific questions to consider when writing DMPs.
Health and Medical Science (Human Studies)
Physical Samples and Non-Digital Objects
Here are some questions to address in your DMP:
- Are the samples already being stored by someone else? (e.g., Many DNA centers keep DNA samples indefinitely. Some samples may be in museum collections.)
- Unambiguous identifiers for physical samples is important. Bar coding is a great option if available.
- Photos can be a surrogate or to enhance the physical sample (e.g., colors fade in preserved fish).
- Describe how the samples can be reused. (e.g., is destructive sampling allowed (DNA for instance always uses at least a little? Can the items be shipped or must the researcher be shipped (travel) to the sample?)
- Do the samples degrade over time? If so, what's the lifespan of the objects.
- If preserving/sharing samples is not possible, how will the researcher help others to replicate the sample?
Physical Sciences and Engineering
The following links provide data management plans written for a variety of physical sciences and engineering research projects:
- Fire Science.gov has the best template
- Mars Global Surveyor Science Data Management Plan (1995)
- NSF 04-004. Division of Ocean Sciences: Data and Sample Policy
- Division of Earth Sciences: Implementation of the NSF Data Sharing Policy (2002)
- Office of Polar Programs: Guidelines and Award Conditions for Scientific Data (1998)
- USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Social Sciences, Education and Survey Data
The following links provide suggested considerations when writing data management plans for research projects in the social sciences: