A Data Management Plan (DMP) documents your data organization decisions. It is a short but formal document created at the start of your research that describes your data and the procedures for handling your data through every stage of your research lifecycle. Writing a data management plan enables the researcher to think about data from a holistic perspective, by thinking about questions and scenarios before they arise.
Writing a DMP will enable you to: make decisions on how you will organize, document, store and backup your data; document your ethical and legal obligations; decide how you will share, archive and preserve your data over the longterm; and meet grant requirements and/or produce a more competitive grant application. Careful planning will reduce the risk of data loss and improve the overall efficiency of a project.