The FAIRness of data management plans: an assessment of some European DMPs

Patricia Henning, Luis Olavo Bonino da Silva, Luís Ferreira Pires, Marten van Sinderen, João Luís Rebelo Moreira


The FAIR principles have become a data management instrument for the academic and scientific community, since they provide a set of guiding principles to bring findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability to data and metadata stewardship. Since their official publication in 2016 by Scientific Data – Nature, these principles have received worldwide recognition and have been quickly endorsed and adopted as a cornerstone of data stewardship and research policy. However, when put into practice, they occasionally result in organisational, legal and technological challenges that can lead to doubts and uncertainty as to whether the effort of implementing them is worthwhile. Soon after their publication, the European Commission and other funding agencies started to require that project proposals include a Data Management Plan (DMP) based on the FAIR principles. This paper reports on the adherence of DMPs to the FAIR principles, critically evaluating ten European DMP templates. We observed that the current FAIRness of most of these DMPs is only partly satisfactory, in that they address data best practices, findability, accessibility and sometimes preservation, but pay much less attention to metadata and interoperability.


Data Management Plan; FAIR Principles, Research Data; Data Management.

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