Data Management Plan Services

Last updated on 2024-04-01 | Edit this page



  • What data management plan services are usually offered by research institutions?
  • What stakeholders should be involved in planning data management plan services?
  • What professional groups can provide training on creating and running DMP services?


  • List options for data management plan services/programs
  • Brainstorm stakeholders to contact
  • Predict potential challenges in implementing data services at your institution


Now that you have learned about DMPs and how to address common issues, you are prepared to think about how to implement support at your institution. This lesson covers options for data management planning services and how to implement a new data program. It is important to keep in mind that the information in this module was drawn from the authors’ own experiences as data librarians and not all of the options may be applicable for your institution.


When embarking on a new data service in the library, often the first step is to contact stakeholders at your institution. These are individuals who support related services in their own departments, and can give you ideas for what gaps exist at your institution, and how you can most effectively implement or publicize your new program. Some stakeholders will be people you likely already know from your library work, and some may be new to you. Please note offices and groups may go by different names at your institution than the examples provided below.

  • Research and funding. This includes the Office of Research, Office of Undergraduate/Graduate Research, Research Institute, Research Administration, Grants Management, and Office of Sponsored Programs (or your local equivalent). These offices usually have contact with a variety of researchers at your institution and will have information on their needs. They may also be partners for presentations or publicity.
  • Compliance. This includes Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), the Research Integrity Officer (RIO), and Regulatory Affairs (or local equivalents). These offices usually work on ensuring that researchers are following funder mandates on data sharing.
  • Research IT. This includes Research Computing, High-Performance Computing, and Information Security (or local equivalents). Your research IT can inform about options for data storage and sharing on campus. It’s also helpful to have a contact person there to refer questions to.
  • Data and Statistical Analysis. This includes Statistical Consulting, Biostatistics, and Institutional Statisticians (or local equivalents). These people are useful contacts for referring out questions on statistical analysis. They may also be able to point out common issues that researchers are facing that can be addressed via library instruction.
  • Research Support Services. This includes the Office of Teaching and Learning, Research Coordinators, Research Training, and liaison librarians (or local equivalent). These units already teach and support researchers, and may have insights into knowledge gaps. You can also cross-promote any events.
  • Anyone involved in intellectual property or data licensing. The offices involved in this area vary widely by institution, but can include the General Counsel or the Office of Intellectual Property. These people are helpful to refer out questions on data licensing, patents, or institutional data use agreements (DUAs).

Activity: Think-Pair-Share

Write down three offices or people at your institution you think would be useful to consult about data management plan services. Then, pair up with a partner to discuss your choices.

Professional Organizations

Like all varieties of librarian, data librarians have their own organizations and networking groups. Joining some of these groups can be a great way to get support as someone new to the field. Here are some options to get you started:

  • Data Curation Network – Data curation network provides resources and professional education opportunities for anyone working in data curation, data management, or data repositories.
  • NNLM National Center for Data Services – Provides education, training and resources for data librarians in the health sciences.
  • Research Data Access and Preservation Association (RDAP) – Professional association for those creating, maintaining, advancing and teaching best practices for research data, access and preservation. RDAP has a very useful listserv.
  • Research Data Alliance - Organization of member institutions devoted to enabling open sharing and reuse of data. Provides training and events.

Data Management Plan Services

Data Management Plan Consultations

In libraries that provide DMP services, the most common offerings are data management plan consultations. We discussed how to provide a data consultation in Episode 3. Research data consultations can be an easy way to integrate DMP support into your offerings, as these questions can be asked during regular research consultations or email communications to determine research needs. Keep in mind that it is important to build up your network of internal data stakeholders before taking on data reference, since it is common for questions to be referred out to other units at your institution.

DMP Draft Review

Many libraries also review drafts of data management plans after they are written. This includes cross-checking the DMPs with any funding agency requirements, and review of completeness and feasibility. DMP review can also be done through the DMPTool, as detailed in Episode 4. When establishing a DMP draft review service, it is important to consider how you will balance completing the reviews with your current workload. Many researchers write DMPs for grants at the last minute, and so some libraries have implemented rules to limit requests with a tight turnaround time. For example, you may want to enact a policy requiring DMP review requests to be submitted a week or more before the grant deadline.

Educational Programming

In addition to providing one-on-one services for individual researchers, you may want to incorporate larger educational programs on DMPs. Librarians can incorporate asynchronous education by creating libguides linking to DMP resources, or providing instructions on how to write DMPs for specific granting agencies (e.g. the NIH, NSF). Using the LibGuides Community mentioned in Episode 2, you can find and remix a DMP libguide that serves your community’s needs best. Libraries can also target audiences synchronously by providing webinars or education sessions on writing a DMP, DMP policies or requirements, and using the DMPTool.


As with any other new library program, you will need to market your DMP services. For example, you might use flyers, email lists, digital signage, or postcards through the campus mail. Successful marketing strategies vary from institution to institution, and you know your institution best. However, taking advantage of your stakeholder network to reach out to data-intensive researchers is important for successfully marketing a data program.


Write down three challenges you anticipate at your institution when implementing data management plan services. Compare your list with a partner and discuss.

Key Points

  • When preparing to start DMP services in your library, reach out to other institutional stakeholders for collaboration.
  • Join a professional organization to get support from other librarians.
  • There are many possible data services libraries can provide. Pick whichever one suits your institution best.