When to make a DMP

Good research data management requires professional and careful treatment of data throughout all stages of a research project, from study design to long-term preservation and sharing of data.

Active data management planning
It is rarely possible to write a complete data management plan (DMP) before the start of a research project. You should update your DMP during the project to add the latest decisions and procedural changes. This process is sometimes called ‘active data management planning’. At the end of the project, the final data management plan will be part of the documentation of the publishable data sets.

Data stewardship versus data management
There is no consensus on the proper use of the terms ‘data stewardship’ and ‘data management’. People often assume that data management finishes and data stewardship starts when the project ends. Regardless of the terminology, creating FAIR data requires attention from the planning phase of a scientific experiment to the life-long maintenance of the data. DTL uses the terms ‘data management’ and ‘data stewardship’ interchangeably.