Research Guides

Data Management and DMPs

Subject Specialist

Thilani Samarakoon

Cameron Riopelle

Timothy Norris

Data Management and DMPs

What is a Data Management Plan?

The Data Management Plan is a written document that describes the data you expect to acquire or collect throughout a research project, how you will collect, organize, document, and analyze the data, and finally how you will share, publish and preserve the data.

Why create a Data Management Plan?

The process to create a Data Management Plan is an opportunity for you to think through different stages of your research project from grant writing to post-publication. It is likely that in the course of the research your plan will change, but by writing out a plan and formalizing the management process you will be better prepared for the changes that come, your research workflow will be more efficient, and your research will have more impact.

For a tongue-in-cheek example of why data management plans are important, see the Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts (video).

Funding agency requirements

Many federal agencies and private foundations who support research require for data management plans and mechanisms for data sharing and access as a part of the grant process. These requirements vary between organizations and it is best to identify potential funding agencies and then check individual requirements before drafting the Data Management Plan. You can use available DMP tools to start this process.

How we can help

Want a second opinion?

Online DMP Tools

There are many available online resources for learning about data management plans. In addition the three sites below are the best developed collections of tools to help researchers write their plans. Very generally they provide guidelines for creating a DMPs organized by granting agency and funding source. These tools will save you time and effort as you seek to understand specific requirements from the funding source for which you are writing a grant.

The California Digital Library's DMP Tool

The University of California's California Digital Library (CDL) maintains the DMP Tool as a collection of resources and step by step guides to help researchers create a data management plans specific to particular agency requirements. A little time with this tool before creating a data management plan will streamline your writing process. The University of Miami maintains an institutional affiliation with the CDL and the DMP Tool. Faculty, students and staff can login with their caneID and have full access to the collection. From the login menu, simply choose option 1 (institutional login), search for the University of Miami and click next . . .

The Digital Curation Centre DMP Tool

The United Kingdom Digital Curation Center in conjunction with the Joint Information Systems Committee maintain a similar online DMP Tool with resources collected from European funding agencies and organizations. This is a useful resource for those with research connections in Europe.

The University of Alberta Portage DMP Tool

The University of Alberta Libraries are developing a bilingual (English and French) version of the DCC DMP Online Tool. This is a growing resource for research in Canada. 

On Campus Data Management Resources

Apart from the Research Data Services found here, there are several other campus departments that provide data services to the research community. Please explore the options below based on your needs.

Office of Research

The Office of Research provides the Velos/REDcap (research data capture) tool for the management of sensitive data. This online password protected application allows users to quickly and securely build and manage online surveys and databases for clinical trials and other research that involves personally identafiable information (PII).

The Office of Research also provides enterprise systems and tools for research administrators, investigators and research teams designed to facilitate government, reporting and regulatory compliance processes. Please see their set of systems and services for more information.

Center for Computational Science

The Center for Computational Science (CCS) provides several services based on their built environment for High Powered Computing (HPC). These include compute time on Pegasus, the HPC cluster that CCS maintains, storage options for data, and advanced consulting for research needs on any of the UM Campuses. Please see their services for more information.

Additionally the Center for Computational Science provides free consultation for grant preparation and DMPs that will include the use of their HPC in the proposed research.

University of Miami Information Technology

University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) provides an array of services to the the UM community. Two important services for research data management are the backup and storage solutions that they offer and the list of licensed software that UM students, faculty, and staff have access to.

Please see the complete list of their services and products for more information.

DMP Consultations
Several consultation services for Data Management Plans exist at the University of Miami.
  • For general consultations for a DMP in any discipline, contact research data services at the Richter Library. You can also book a consulation with the link below.

  • For DMP consultations that involve high performance computing or special computational needs, please see the grant preparation guidelines and services provided by the Center for Computational Science.
Subject Specialist

Thilani Samarakoon

Cameron Riopelle

Timothy Norris

How Important is Your Data?
Take a moment of silence to imagine what would happen if your computer failed today.

  "Researchers don't delete data, they lose it" - John Bixby - Vice Provost for Research at University of Miami

There are many common data loss scenarios including physical failure of storage devices, loss or theft of a computer, catastrophic weather events, and so on. As a researcher it is your responsibility to make sure that in the event of data loss, you have a strategy in place to recover any loss. Things to consider as you develop this strategy include:
  • Who is responsible for backup ?
  • How often do you backup ?
  • Partial vs. full backups ?
  • Non-digital backups ?
  • Where (literally) will the backups be located ?
  • Do the backups need a description (metadata) ?
  • Manual vs automatic ?
  • Recovery procedures ?
  • Verification – how do you know the backup was successful ?
  • How long do you keep your backups ?
  • What happens when the project ends ?
Please see the resources below as you think about your strategy, and if you need more information or guidance on developing a backup strategy contact research data services at the Richter Library.
Short-term Storage and Backup Options at UM

Remember, it is best to always have three copies of your work at all times.

The University of Miami provides several storage and backup options to the research community.

Short-term storage, backup, and sharing solutions for your work will vary depending upon the characteristics of your data.a The University of Miami offers the following services which will meet most research project needs:

  Size Limits HIPAA Compliant Collaboration and Sharing Relational Databases Self Guided No Costs
Box Cloud-Based Storage unlimited b
Cloud Storage (CCS) unlimited with 10 TB minimum c
File Server (UMIT) unlimited d, e d e


If one of these solutions does not meet your needs, you can consider self-managed solutions, or please feel free to contact the UM Information Technology (UMIT) Service Desk, research data services at the Libraries, or the advanced computing services at CCS for further assistance.

  1. None of these options are for long-term storage, please see our institutional repository or identify another disciplinary repository to meet this need.
  2. Box’s single file upload limit is 15GB.
  3. Please see the advanced computing resources at CCS or contact the Advanced Computing group directly for more information.
  4. To begin the request process, please contact the UMIT Service Desk at (305) 284-6565 or
  5. Every request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Evaluations are based on the requested resource needs and the current resource allocations across campus. If the request is exceptionally large, there may be cost sharing requirements.
Sharing and Collaboration Tools

For general sharing and collaboration needs please see the cloud storage solutions that Information Technology provides for faculty, staff, and students:

Google Drive
Subject Specialist

Thilani Samarakoon

Cameron Riopelle

Timothy Norris

On Campus Data Management Workshops
Data Services at the University of Miami Libraries offers a "Data Analytics for You" workshop series every semester. This series of seminars and workshops is designed for students who will be undertaking research in any discipline.
Dr. Timothy Norris Research Data Management Series
Presented by Dr. Timothy Norris, Data Scientist

This workshop series will provide students with strategies to increase productivity (efficiency), enable proper data stewardship (security), and help students exceed data management expectations and requirements in the research environment (compliance).

Learn More and Register to Attend

Dr. Cameron Riopelle Data Analysis Software Instruction
Presented by Dr. Cameron Riopelle, Head of Data Services

Gain introductory experience with data analysis in a variety of new software environments, particularly R, SPSS, SAS, and Tableau, paired with discussions of statistical analysis and data science best practices.

Learn More and Register to Attend

Dr. Jorge Quintela GIS Software Instruction: Introduction to ArcGIS Online
Presented by Dr. Jorge Quintela, GIS and Data Specialist

This workshop will introduce you to ArcGIS Online, the ESRI’s cloud-based mapping and analysis platform. You will learn how to create interactive maps, how to add, manage and share content, and how to perform basic spatial analysis procedures with your data.

Learn More and Register to Attend

Software Carpentry – Teaching Basic Lab Skills for Scientific Computing
Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing
Python Workshop - 11/11-12/2019 - Calder Library - Miller School of Medicine
R/RStudio Workshop - 12/2-3/2019 - RSMAS Library - RSMAS
Online Data Management Training Resources
There are many online resources for self-learners to explore and discover Data Management. The list of suggested sites below provides a starting point for those motivated to follow through.

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