In 2013, the US Office of Science and Technology issued a policy memorandum expanding requirements for planning and sharing of data. Most federal funding research agencies require DMPs as part of the grant application process.
Even if you don't need to meet funder requirements, data management plans are still valuable. Planning ahead of time for the storage, backup, archiving, and sharing (if applicable) of data will:
Is a Data Management Plan required to obtain funding for your research? Would you like to plan for the management of your data to make life easier down the road? Learn about Data Management Plans and get hands-on experience using DMPTool, an online wizard for creating DMPs that meet specific funder requirements.
Available at dmptool.org, DMPTool is a free tool to help researchers create data management plans that comply with funder requirements. It walks users through the components required by the funder they're applying to, and allows them to create a completed DMP, which can be exported as a Word document or PDF.