A data management plan is a formal document outlining how research data will be managed, stored, documented and secured throughout a research project as well as planning for what will happen to the data after completion of the project. The data management plan is intended to provide descriptive details of the data, the processes, the decisions, as well as identifying roles and responsibilities. This also includes a long-term data sharing and preservation plan to ensure data are publicly accessible beyond the life of the project. A data management plan is often a requirement of funding agencies. The IODE encourages all researchers to prepare a data management plan for research projects that will collect marine data and to ensure the data generated by research projects be permanently archived in the IODE network of National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs).