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Research Data Management (RDM): Data Management Planning

UCT Libraries Research Data Services provide guidance and support for all aspects of the data lifecycle, from planning your data management strategy during the proposal phase through preserving your data at the conclusion of your project.

Data Management Planning


Plan and Design


Good management starts with a plan. Just as a research proposal outlines the scope, aims and objectives of a research project, a data management plan (DMP) is a formal document that outlines how research data will be managed during a research project as well as after the project is completed.

A DMP outlines how data will be  collected, managed, stored, preserved and published across the life cycle of a research project.

If you know at the planning stage of your research what your data needs are going to be, then you can be sure to be prepared for them as you move through the research lifecycle. 

  • What type of data will be generated in your research?
  • How will your data be named and referenced?
  • Where and how will you store your data?
  • What file formats are involved?
  • What data and metadata standards will you follow?
  • Who will have access to your data and how? 
  • How and when will you share your data, if applicable?
  • Will you be digitally preserving your data? If yes, how so?
  • How will you license your datasets?
  • How will you ensure privacy or confidentiality, if applicable?

Such questions are posed at the planning stage to help you think through your future needs and ensure that your data moves efficiently through to the completion of your research project. Together with eResearch, we work with researchers at the planning and grant-writing stage to suggest best practices around managing your data and documenting them in a DMP.  Completing DMPs (to specification) at the planning and grant-writing stage helps to prepare for technical needs during the active research phase, as well as for open sharing of research data outputs afterward. It also helps identify budget needs for the data challenges ahead. 

The submission of a data management plan is increasingly becoming a requirement of funding agencies. As of 2019, it has also become a UCT policy requirement for most UCT researchers and postgraduate students to submit a data management plan.

Digital Library Services provides the UCT community with a data management plan (DMP) creation tool called UCT DMP. This tool assists you by providing questions related to your data and the research life cycle and gives you tips for answering them. We make a number of DMP templates available in UCT DMP, to help you with the requirements of specific funders, departments or projects, depending on your discipline. 

To determine whether your funder has a specific template they require you to use, you may want to view the DLS funder guidelines or the Digital Curation centre’s overview of funder's data policies

For further assistance with writing your DMP, or if you would like a template custom-tailored to the needs of your department or research group, please contact us


UCT DMP Tutorial

UCT DMP Tutorial

Using UCT Data Management Plan

You will need to create an account in order to use UCT DMP. This can be done by clicking on the SIGN UP button on the home page.

If you require further help with your own DMP, please contact your Subject Librarian, departmental data manager, or Digital Library Services.

Institution/Department specific DMP

Institution/Department Specific:

Certain UCT departments and research units have customised DMP templates for their researchers and students. Currently, the following units have customised templates:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT) - Full DMP (available as default option)
  • Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) - Full DMP
  • Faculty of Commerce
    • School of Economics (Full DMP)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
    • UCT Clinical Research Centre (CRC) - Full DMP
    • Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU) - Full DMP
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • Library and Information Studies Centre (LISC) - Full DMP (for students)

These templates contain specific guidance for their units, drawn from existing departmental and faculty documentation and curatorial practices. If you would are interested in creating a DMP template for your department or unit, please contact DLS.

Additional Resources

Planning for your data