RDM Planning

How do I make a Data Management Plan?

Portage, a CARL initiative for data stewardship in Canada, provides a simple walk through Data Management Plan tool: https://assistant.portagenetwork.ca/  

  1. Sign up and indicate your primary research institution. The University of Winnipeg is provided as an option. 
  2. Select a template. DMP Assistant offers disicipline specific templates (ex. Template for Qualitative Health Sciences Research). You may also choose the Generic Portage Template. 
  3. Answer the questions: You will have to answer important questions about your research process. Not all questions will apply to all research.
  4. Revise as needed. Guidance and examples are provided. You are encouraged to revisit the tool throughout your research process.
  5. Export and print. The assistant can export in a variety of formats, for inclusion in your funding application.

What questions should I think about for my RDM Plan?

The DMP Assistant will ask you questions about the following areas of your research plan, so think them through in advance:

Data Collection

What types of data will you be creating or collecting, in what formats, and how will you structure, name, and version control your files?

Documentation and Metadata

What do you need to do to make your data 'independently understandable' - how will you document and describe the data in meaningful ways? (See RDM Documentation & Storage)

Storage and Backup

What are your anticipated storage space needs, and how and where will your data be stored and backed up? Do you have collaboration needs? How will access and security be handled? (See RDM Documentation & Storage)


What data should be deposited for long-term access, and where will you store your data? How will you ensure your data is preservation ready? (See RDM Sharing & Preservation)

Sharing and Reuse

What data will you be sharing and in what form? How will the research community know your data exists? (See RDM Sharing & Preservation)

Responsibilities and Resources

Who will be responsible for managing the data? How will personnel changes be dealt with? Have you covered the costs of your data management?

DataOne offers a Best Practices Guide for RDM Budgeting 

Ethics and Legal Compliance

How will you ensure sensitive data is securely managed? How will you manage legal, ethical, and intellectual property issues?

Which Tri-Agency Requirements do I need to be aware of?

Grants funded by any of the Tri-agency bodies (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) need to follow the appropriate policies. If you are submitting an application for any grants, having a DMP will be a strong asset, if not a requirement.

New Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_97610.html 

Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research http://www.rcr.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/framework-cadre/

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans http://www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/eng/policy-politique/initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/Default/

Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_83F7624E.html?OpenDocument 

...And, of course, your individual grant requirements.

Am I required to write a data management plan?

The NEW Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy states that: "All grant proposals submitted to the agencies should include methodologies that reflect best practices in RDM. For certain funding opportunities, the agencies will require data management plans (DMPs) to be submitted to the appropriate agency at the time of application, as outlined in the call for proposals; in these cases, the DMPs will be considered in the adjudication process."

By spring 2022, the agencies will identify the initial set of funding opportunities subject to the DMP requirement. The agencies will pilot the DMP requirement in targeted funding opportunities before this date.

Am I required to deposit my data?

The NEW Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy states that: "Grant recipients are required to deposit into a digital repository all digital research data, metadata and code that directly support the research conclusions in journal publications and pre-prints that arise from agency-supported research."

This deposit requirement will be phased in over a period of time after March 2023, and in line with the readiness of the Canadian research community.

Note: "For research conducted by and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, collectives and organizations, these communities, collectives or organizations will guide and ultimately determine how the data are collected, used and preserved, and have the right to repatriate the data. This could result in exceptions to the data deposit requirement." http://www.science.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_97610.html 

  • CIHR-funded researchers: Since January 1, 2008, recipients of CIHR funding have had to comply with the limited data deposit requirements included in the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. They must continue to comply with these requirements, which are specific to bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data.

Deposit requirements do not mean the data have to be open to the public to view. Any recommended repository (see RDM Sharing and Preservation) will allow for 'dark' or mediated deposit.