Data management plans

Every project needs to have a data management plan (DMP) either as part of a funding application or as part of the University's procedures. This document contains all the information related to the management of the research data of your project.

Why you need a data management plan?

Your data management and sharing plan involves making decisions at the outset of your research to decide:

  • Which software to use
  • How to organise, store and manage your data
  • What to include in the consent agreements you negotiate

These decisions will all affect the future use of your data. Most funders expect a short statement to be submitted with your grant proposal, outlining your plans for data management and data sharing. The University of Hertfordshire also requires you to submit your University of Hertfordshire DMP to the Document Management system (DMS) once funding has been awarded.  

What is in a data management plan?

Generally, a DMP covers 5 themes:

  • What data will be created?
  • How will the data be documented and described?
  • How you will manage ethics and your intellectual property rights (IPR)?
  • What are the plans for data sharing and access?
  • What is the strategy for long-term preservation and sustainability?  

The specific questions asked in each of these sections depends on the funding body to which you are applying. However, they are all designed to cover every step of your project – this is why they are such a useful tool.

The University of Hertfordshire template covers all of these questions even if your funding body does not as your University DMP needs to be a stand alone document. 


The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has worked with UK research funders to produce data management plan templates that fulfill their requirements. You can use their DMPonline web-based tool to help you write your data plan. Examples of data management plans related to your discipline are available on the research institute pages and the IH Data Management page. If you cannot find an example for your research, use our DMP breakdown page to help you. 

The University of Hertfordshire should be selected at the same time as your funding body so the University notes will be displayed to the right of the question to help you complete the DMP. The University's template will be displayed if you do not select a funding body. A user guide is available to show you how to log in to the system and select the required DMPs.

The University DMP

Once your funding application has been successful, you will need to:

  • completed your DMPonline University of Hertfordshire template
  • export and download the document in pdf form
  • email your University of Hertfordshire DMP to from your @herts email account with the subject set to your R1 number - PI Surname. 

Your DMP will then be stored in the Document Management System (DMS) in line with the requirements of funding bodies and the University data policy. Subsequent versions of the DMP should also be emailed to the with the same subject. The DMS has built in version control so all versions will be retained in the DMS with the dates when these versions were submitted.