Data Management Plan


To ensure good data management.



A data management plan according to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles.



  • A data management plan that defines how your data management is organized and what choices have been made during all phases of the research process.



Executing researcher: Make an appointment with a data manager for a consultation about making a data management plan. If a data management plan is required by a subsidizer, write a draft plan prior to the appointment.
Project leaders: To make sure the executing researcher contacts a data manager.
Research assistant: N.a.


How To

Data management plays an increasingly important role in doing scientific research involving human subjects (both ‘WMO’ and ‘not WMO’). From subsidizing agencies, scientific journals, laws and regulations (including privacy) and from the point of view of scientific integrity, increasingly high demands are placed on the responsible handling of research data during all phases of the research process. FAIR data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) is the keyword.
More and more funders also demand a so called data management plan (DMP) in case of an approved grant application. A DMP must define how your data management is organized and what choices have been made during all phases of the research process. This plan should preferably be drawn up in cooperation with or advice from a data management expert within the own organization. Even if a data management plan is not formally demanded, it is highly recommended to make this and of course comply with it, to ensure high quality datasets for use now and in the future.
For advice on making a data management plan a consultation appointment with a data management consultant is recommended. VUmc employees can make an appointment with the central Data Management department ( For VU employees support is available from the UBVU. It is advisable to make an appointment at least 4 months before the data collection starts, so things can be properly regaled. For AMC researchers, Standard Operation Procedures for Data Management are available on the CRU pages
During a data management consultation it is also possible to make appointments regarding the possible outsourcing of work to the (VUmc) Data Management department. Consultations are always free of charge. More intensive operational tasks like creating a database or making a custom made web application for collecting data will be invoiced by the Data Management department, and should therefore be covered by project finances. This will need to be taken into consideration in the project budget/grant application.
Depending on the funding agency, a variety of DMP templates are available and mandatory. In addition, also a general (VUmc) DMP template is under development.
The ultimate goal of a DMP is to make clear how that data will be reusable and verifiable and will be permanently stored in an accessible archive (repository) after finishing the project. Therefore, it is necessary that all steps are described to that ensure that these data also will be complete, clean, consistent and well documented.
It is important to think carefully and systematically about themes like:
  • appropriate data collection (including appropriate tools and computer programs to achieve this)
  • privacy issues in data processing
  • managing dataflow
  • data cleaning
  • data documentation
  • meta data schemes for the description of the data collection
  • meta data schemes to link the datasets from your data collection to other datasets
  • sustainable file formats
  • any import and export of data
  • replication packages
  • long term archiving and publishing data


Audit questions

Has an early appointment been made with the Data Management department or your own data manager associated with your research group?
If not: What are the reasons?
Is a copy of the information plan been stored?
Has the advice described in the information plan been followed?




V2.1: 6 sept 2018: Added AMC SOP Data Management link
V2.0: 12 May 2015: Revision format
V1.3: 1 Jan 2010: English translation
V1.2: 27 May 2009: Support from the Data Management department developed further and realised and need for a paperless office emphasised
V1.1: 19 Oct 2006: Support from D&S described more extensively and updated