Data Management Plan

Carefully managing research data is an essential part of good research practice and starts with adequate planning, in particular by drawing up a data management plan (DMP). A DMP is a document specifying how data will be handled both during and after a particular research project. Setting up a DMP urges them to reflect on data collection, data storage, data security and data retrieval.

For who

Writing a data management plan at the beginning of a project is useful for any researcher.

  • PhD-students: For doctoral students who obtained permission by the faculty to enroll for the doctorate after January 1st, 2015, writing a data management plan is a requirement (see the doctoral regulations).
  • Researchers working with personal data: In the context of the new European privacy legislation (GDPR), it is important to point out that all researchers who work with personal data have to deal responsibly with privacy protection and secure processing. In particular, attention should be paid to the (self-)accountability for the processing of personal data, which actually involves an extensive obligation to document. This can be made concrete in the data management plan.


As a PhD student, this depends on when you obtained permission by the faculty to enroll for the doctorate.

  • After January 1, 2015: Present a data management plan during the first or second meeting of the doctoral advisory committee. This data management plan must be submitted together with the report of the meeting of the doctoral advisory committee to the Dean's Office.
  • After October 1, 2018:  Attach a data management plan to each progress report. The management plan must also be presented at every meeting of the doctoral advisory committee.

All other researchers who want to draw up a DMP do this best as early as possible in the research process.


  • To write effective DMPs for research projects, Ghent University Library developed, an online data management planning tool. The tool includes a number of DMP templates, each consisting of a set of questions about various aspects of data management. Guidance is also provided to help users answer the questions. A template specific for our FPPW researchers is available.

    Anyone with a valid Ghent University username and password can sign in and start using the tool. If you have feedback or questions, please contact Jan Lammertyn.
  • A filled out DMP example can be found here.