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Data management practices for systematic reviews and other types of knowledge syntheses are variable, with some reviews following open science practices and others with poor reporting practices leading to lack of transparency or reproducibility. Reporting standards have improved the level of detail being shared in published reviews, and also encourage more open sharing of data from various stages of the review process. Similar to project planning or completion of an ethics application, systematic review teams should create a data management plan alongside creation of their study protocol. This commentary provides a brief description of a Data Management Plan Template created specifically for systematic reviews. It also describes the companion LibGuide which was created to provide more detailed examples, and to serve as a living document for updates and new guidance. The creation of the template was funded by the Portage Network.


Research Data Management, Data Management Plans, Systematic Reviews


We are grateful for the dedicated funding provided by the Portage Network for the development of the template discussed in this Commentary. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Paul Ronksley, our colleague in the University of Calgary Department of Community Health Sciences, to the systematic review DMP template. Disclosures: The content of this article is based upon a panel presentation at RDAP Summit 2021 titled “Data Management Planning for Systematic Reviews/Knowledge Syntheses: Development of a DMP Template and LibGuide.”

Corresponding Author

Heather Ganshorn, University of Calgary, Taylor Family Digital Library, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada; Heather.Ganshorn@ucalgary.ca

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Copyright © 2021 Ganshorn & Premji. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.