Data Management Plans
Planning for Data Management involves answering questions about the data: Do they already exist? How will they be obtained or collected? What is the schedule and budget for data collection? How will the data be checked and certified? What are the likely uses for the data? How will the data be stored, accessed, and protected? A good data management plan provides a strategy for how you will answer all of these questions.
Best Practices: Data Management Planning Considerations
This USGS checklist provides guidance in what must be considered in developing a DMP for all new USGS projects.
Examples of USGS Data Management Plans Templates
The examples below are not necessarily for direct use but are intended to provide a better understanding of DMPs and the questions they may contain. Contact your USGS center or program for more information on their specific DMP requirements.
What data are you collecting? Do the data already exist?
[see Acquire > Methods for more information on data acquisition issues]
Who is responsible for managing the data and the data management plan?
How will data be collected?
[see Acquire > Methods for more information on data collection issues]
What format will the data and metadata be in?
What is the schedule and budget for the collection?
How will the data be checked and certified?
[see Manage Quality for more information]
What are all the likely uses for the data, who will use it, what kinds of outputs will be needed?
How do these impact the need to store, access, and protect the data?
How are the data being stored and backed up?
Example Data Management Plan Formats
Some example Data Management Plans from various institutions can be found at Public DMPs
USGS staff can create a DMPTool account with "U.S. Geological Survey" as the affiliated institution. Once logged in, you can create a data management plan using the "U.S. Geological Survey DMP Guidance" or us any of the non-prescriptive DMP templates affiliated with USGS.
What the U.S. Geological Survey Manual Says:
The USGS Manual 502.2 - Fundamental Science Practices: Planning and Conducting Data Collection and Research establishes requirements for Project Work Plans:
Project Work Plan. Documents the timeline for the study, lists the discrete tasks that need to be completed to accomplish the objectives, and describes the relationship of discrete tasks to one another and the methods to be used (how they can be explained and defended, including exploring differences in performance, comparability of results, and so on). A project work plan also documents the budget for the study, staffing of the study, anticipated or planned information products (including the recommended review and approval process for these products), and the process for managing and archiving scientific records. A project work plan can be a component of a proposal that is handled through the Bureau planning process.
Note: Information Product: An information product is the compilation of scientific communication or knowledge such as facts, data, or interpretations in any medium (e.g., print, digital, Web) or form, including textual, numerical, graphical, cartographic, or audiovisual, to be disseminated to a defined audience or customer, scientific or nonscientific, internal or external.
The USGS Instructional Memoradum IM OSQI 2015-001 - Foundation Data Policy establishes requirements for data management plans:
"Plan. The overall project work plan of every research project must include planning for data management (SM 502.2). A data management plan describes standards and intended actions for acquiring, processing, analyzing, preserving, publishing/sharing, describing, managing quality, backing up, and securing the data holdings (http://www.usgs.gov/datamanagement/plan.php). The data management plan, like the work plan, should be updated during the research phase to reflect the reality of the project activities."