Bates Data Management Plan Support

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data management plan (DMP) is a concise cradle-to-grave “life cycle” narrative for the products of your scholarship that describe how the research data will be collected, stored, analyzed, preserved, and shared as part of Bates Commitment to Openness in Intellectual Inquiry, Research, and Education. A good DMP promotes open access to non-classified research data, increases productivity, reduces security risks and costs, and allows access for sharing and possible re-use among researchers. This plan documents: 

  1. the kind of things you will generate through your scholarly activities and 
  2. how you will securely store those products, as well as 
  3. an explicit description of how you will make the products of your scholarship available to others. 

Funding Agency Requirements: 

Many funding agencies require a DMP document for projects involving data collection as part of a grant proposal. In addition, most funders (even those that don’t require a DMP at the time of submission) have record retention policies that extend years beyond submission of the final grant reports. By accepting an award, you are committing both yourself and Bates College to an obligation that could conceivably extend beyond your time with the college. We want to make sure you and Bates have the necessary resources to manage these commitments, now and in the future.

How We Can Help: 

The Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPaRC) office and Information & Library Services (ILS) are happy to work with you to create your DMP. 

It is important to identify these management needs and alert Bates ILS to these potential commitments very early in the grant writing process. Our offices can help you identify potential commitments and existing resources available for your research, provide sample DMPs shared by your Bates colleagues, review and comment on your DMP drafts, and discuss budgetary impacts on your proposed research project. 

What Should You Include In Your Data Management Plan?

  • Descriptions of your anticipated scholarly products
  • Descriptions of your storage plan(s) for your scholarly products
  • Descriptions of who can access you scholarship
  • Descriptions of how you will address a Co-PI or collaborator leaving the project

This online worksheet should help organize the information for your DMP narrative. Your answers will be shared with SPaRC and appropriate members of ILS including the Director of Network and Infrastructure Services, the Director for Curricular and Research Computing, and the Science and Data Librarian. 

What Happens After Submitting Your Completed DMP Worksheet:

After submitting your replies, copies of the prompts and responses will be emailed to you and appropriate members of SPaRC and ILS.  A team from SPaRC and ILS will review your responses and, if necessary, contact you with follow up questions. In either case, ILS will work with you to identify the resources, either in-house or 3rd party, you need to properly manage your data.

If a complete data management plan is required as part of your proposal, please submit your draft DMP for review as an email attachment directed to SPaRC ( and ILS (  DMP drafts will be reviewed and returned with comments and/or questions, if necessary. Otherwise, you will be notified that your DMP is complete and ready for submission as part of your grant proposal.

If Your Project is Externally Funded:

If your proposal is awarded, SPaRC will work with you at the time of award to make sure your DMP is up to date and remains appropriate for your research.  

Annual Updates: 

On an annual basis for the duration of your project, you will be asked to complete an Annual Update worksheet to ensure that your plan is still appropriate for your project and to communicate any changes to your data management needs to ILS.  You will be asked to review and provide any updates to the types and amounts of data you are generating or anticipate generating and your plans for sharing your data. You will also be asked to share the location(s) of your data.  If at any other point there are changes in your data management needs, please inform ILS.  This can be done by completing the annual update form outside the yearly cycle.”

Some great resources to get you into the appropriate DMP headspace:

Ready to Get Started? Fill out your DMP worksheet here:

Time to Update Your DMP? Fill out your Annual DMP Update worksheet here: