VIDEO How do I write a Data Management Plan? is an online tool to help Ghent University researchers write an effective Data Management Plan (DMP). This tip explains how to use this tool.

What is a DMP?

A Data Management Plan is a formal document that specifies how research data will be handled both during and after a research project. 

Many research funders now require a DMP as part of the grant proposal process, or after funding has been approved. Some institutions, faculties or research groups may also require their researchers to submit a DMP. However, even if no-one makes you write a DMP, it is considered good practice for any research project using or generating data.

For more information about DMP's and DMP requirements, check Ghent University's webpage on Preparing a Data Management Plan.

Writing a DMP with

Users can sign into with their UGent account. The tool takes them step-by-step through a number of data management questions based on a relevant DMP template. Guidance is also provided to help users interpret and answer the questions.

Templates and guidance can be associated with Ghent University as a whole, with a specific faculty (or other subgroup) or with an external research funder, representing their respective requirements. Plans created with the tool can be easily shared with collaborators and exported in various formats.

How the tool works

Watch the following video for a quick tour of


The instructions and screenshots below explain the main features of the tool in more detail.

1. Signing in

  • Go to and choose 'sign in with UGent'.

  • You may be directed to the UGent CAS page first, in which case you have to enter your UGent username and password.

  • Once signed in, you are taken to the 'My plans' landing page.

  • From there, you can edit, share, export and/or delete any of your plans, and see plans that others have shared with you.

2. Creating a new plan

To create a new DMP, click the ‘Create plan’ button on the ‘My plans’ page.


The tool will then take you through a wizard to determine which DMP template and guidance it needs to show you:

  1. Enter the title of the project for which you are creating a DMP (mandatory).
  2. Indicate whether or not you will process personal data in your research. If so, you will only be able to select GDPR-compatible templates, i.e. templates (also) containing a series of institutional GDPR questions that you must answer in order to internally register your activities with regard to the processing of personal data (as required by the GDPR).
  3. Select a funder from the dropdown menu if you are writing a DMP for an external research funder (e.g. ERC, FWO). If you are not writing a plan for an external funder, or if your external funder is not (yet) listed, simply click 'not applicable/not listed'.
  4. If you indicated that you will not process personal data, select your institution, i.e. Ghent University, so that you can choose a template and/or see guidance from UGent. If you indicated that you will process personal data, Ghent University is pre-selected as your organisation.
  5. If more than one institutional template is available, choose the one you want from the dropdown menu.
  6. If you wish, you can also select other sources of guidance (e.g. from a specific Faculty if available) by ticking the corresponding box(es).



2. Editing a plan

Via the tabbed interface you can navigate through different functions.

Plan details

Use the 'Plan details' tab to complete the details for your plan, i.e. some basic information about your research project (e.g. project ID, description...).



Use the DMP template tab to start editing your plan.

A DMP consists of several sections that each comprise one or more questions. When opening up a section, you will see the DMP question in the top left corner, and a text box below (or another answer format such as a dropdown menu, radio buttons etc.) to enter your answer.

Guidance to help you answer the question is provided on the right side (question-specific guidance is automatically opened; to see available themed guidance, click the ‘+’ sign).

Also on the right is an ‘Add comment’ tab that you can use to leave a note to yourself or a collaborator.

A progress indicator next to your project title shows how many questions you have answered and how much of the available space you have used (different templates may have different page limits).


3. Sharing a plan

Via the ‘Share’ tab, you can give other users (such as a collaborator or supervisor) access to your plan and clarify each user's role.

There are 6 roles/permission levels:

  • Users with 'read only' access can only read, comment on, and export the plan.
  • Users with 'edit' access can in addition contribute to the plan.
  • 'Data contacts' are any contact persons for the plan other than the principal investigator. They can contribute to the plan.
  • 'Co-owners' can also contribute to the plan, but additionally can edit the plan details and control access to the plan.
  • 'Principal investigators' are the main researchers or supervisors of the project associated with the plan. They have the same rights as co-owners, i.e. they can contribute to the plan, and also edit the plan details and control access to the plan. By default, the creator ('owner') of a plan is listed as principal investigator, but this can be changed and another principal investigator can be added.
  • 'Data protection officer' (DPO) is the designated person who monitors the application of and compliance with the GDPR within an organisation. DPOs can read and export the plan, and also add comments. If you indicated in the 'create a new plan' wizard that you will process personal data (and therefore are working with a GDPR-compatible template), the DPO of Ghent University is automatically granted access to your plan. 

To give someone else access to your plan, simply enter his/her email address, choose a role/permission level, and click the ‘Add collaborator’ button. The person in question will then receive a notification email with a link to access your plan.  

Any Principal Investigators and Data Contacts you add via the 'Share tab' will also appear in your plan details. 



4. Exporting a plan

Once you have completed your plan, you can export it in a number of different formats via the ‘Export’ tab.

Simply select the format of your choice from the dropdown menu, and if needed adjust export settings (enter a title for your DMP itself, select elements such as sections or questions to include/exclude in the export document, and/or adjust fonts and margins).

When you hit the ‘Export’ button, the tool will export your DMP in the selected format.



5. Linking your account to your ORCID iD

On your profile page, you can link your account to your ORCID iD. 

To go to your profile page, click 'Signed in as [your name]' and select 'Edit profile' from the menu that appears. 

On your profile page, click 'Link to ORCID' in the ORCID identifier field. This will redirect you to the ORCID website. There you can sign in to link to your ORCID iD or, if you don't have one yet, register for an ORCID account first. 



Linking your account to your ORCID iD allows you to sign into the planning tool via your ORCID credentials (in addition to signing in via your UGent username and password).

It also enables you to link multiple accounts. You may have more than one account in if you have more than one institutional affiliation, for example, or if your email address changes. If your different accounts are linked to your ORCID iD and you sign into with ORCID, you can easily switch between accounts and select the one you wish to use.

More information

  • Need more help using Have a look at the tool’s help page.
  • For more information on Research Data Management and DMPs, also see Ghent University’s RDM webpages. 
  • For questions or feedback, send an email to

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Last modified May 17, 2020, 11:27 a.m.