A data management plan (DMP) is a simple document that helps you describe and manage the lifecycle of your data sets.
Funding agencies (including the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation) require the inclusion of DMPs with grant submissions as part of their evaluation and peer review processes.
U.S. and international Open Government/Open Data initiatives utilize DMPs as a means to provide broader public awareness of and access to federally-funded research results. Open Data informs taxpayers about how federal funds are spent while "promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) for commercial development and/or the public good.
Your data management plan (DMP) helps you describe your data set for the benefit of others. It should be concise (~2 pages) and and include 6 basic components:
Consider the process of peer-reviewing DMPs in NSF grant proposals.
DMPs submitted by NPS PIs (used with permission)