Data Management Plans for NSF:
Taking Care of Your Data Now and Later
Director, Research Data Management
Data is part of the research life cycle.
(diagram from UVa Library, Data Management Consulting Group)
Data Snafu in 3 Acts (NYU Libraries)
Research Data means recorded information, regardless of form or the media
in which it may be recorded, which constitute the original observations
and methods of a study and the analyses of these original data that are
necessary for reconstruction and evaluation of the Report(s) of a study
made by one or more Investigators. Research Data also includes all such
recorded information gathered in anticipation of a Report. Research Data
differ among disciplines. The term may include but is not limited to
technical information, computer software, laboratory and other
notebooks, printouts, worksheets, other media, survey, memoranda,
evaluations, notes, databases, clinical case history records, study
protocols, statistics, findings, conclusions, samples, physical collections,
other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of the
Research, Tangible Research Property, unique Research resources such as
synthetic compounds, organisms, cell lines, viruses, cell products, cloned
DNA as well as genetic sequences and mapping information,
crystallographic coordinates, plants, animals and spectroscopic data, and
other compilations formed by selecting and assembling pre-existing
materials in a unique way.
While VCU Owns the Data…
Principal Investigator has primary stewardship
of Research Data on behalf of the University. In
this capacity the Principal Investigator (PI) is
responsible for data collection, recording,
storage, access, and retention in keeping with
this policy and best practices in the PI’s
NSF Data Sharing Policy
Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at
no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time,
the primary data, samples, physical collections and other
supporting materials created or gathered in the course of
work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage
and facilitate such sharing. See Award & Administration Guide
(AAG) Chapter VI.D.4.
NSF Data Management Plan Requirements
Proposals submitted or due on or after January 18,
2011, must include a supplementary document of
no more than two pages labeled “Data
Management Plan”. This supplementary document
should describe how the proposal will conform to
NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of
research results. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)
Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation.
Your data management plan should include:
1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials,
and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where
existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented
along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of
privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or
4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of
5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for
preservation of access to them.
But , be sure to consult the grant and directorate you are applying for.
Data Type and Format
• Data collection methods.
• Data formats.
• Data size, per experiment and the whole data
• Is the data reproducible? i.e. climate data or
data from lab experiment that can be run
• Data organization plans and file structures.
• Where will data be stored as it is collected and
• Who is backing up and where are backups
• Where will data be stored for retention
• What format should be used to store data?
• Are there standards for data collection and
documentation in your subject area?
• Is there a community standard for adding key
words to your data for sharing and future use?
• Are there any special security
considerations, e.g. HIPAA ?
• Who controls the data? Who is responsible for
• Will any of the data require extra security or
• Will there be an embargo on the data?
• Does your funder require sharing?
• Who might want to use the data and how?
• If there is a suitable subject repository, do
they have any requirements for depositing
• Is data saved in a way that will allow others to
understand and use it?
• How long must the data be retained according
to funder, institution, etc.?
• Does the format need to be changed for longterm preservation?
• Where can the data be stored?
• Who will maintain it?
• Other agency regulations.
• Future mandates for articles and data.
• Get DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or other
permanent ID for data or software to ensure
• Set up profiles to track use of open resources.
NIH Public Access Policy
SEC. 218. The Director of the National Institutes of
Health shall require that all investigators funded by
the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the
National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an
electronic version of their final peer-reviewed
manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be
made publicly available no later than 12 months
after the official date of publication: Provided, That
the NIH shall implement the public access policy in
a manner consistent with copyright law.
• Fair Access to Science and Technology
• Federal depts. and agencies with budget of
• Free public access to manuscripts of grantees
• Released to public 6 months after publication
OSTP Adds Its 2 Cents
OSTP Memorandum: Increasing Access to the Results of
Federally Funded Scientific Research, February 22, 2013
• “ensuring that, … the direct results of federally funded
scientific research are made available to and useful for
the public, industry, and the scientific community. Such
results include peer-reviewed publications and digital
• “develop plans to make the results of federally-funded
research publically available free of charge within 12
months after original publication.”
Memo Section 4. Objectives for Public Access to
Scientific Data in Digital Formats
“digitally formatted scientific data resulting
from unclassified research supported wholly or
in part by Federal funding should be stored and
publicly accessible to search, retrieve, and
b)Ensure that all extramural researchers receiving
Federal grants and contracts for scientific research
and intramural researchers develop data
management plans, as appropriate, describing how
they will provide for long-term preservation of, and
access to, scientific data in digital formats resulting
from federally funded research, or explaining why
long-term preservation and access cannot be
c) Allow the inclusion of appropriate costs for
data management and access in proposals for
Federal funding for scientific research;
f) Promote the deposit of data in publicly
accessible databases, where appropriate and
Omnibus Appropriations Bill
SEC. 527. Each Federal agency, or in the case of an agency with multiple bureaus,
each bureau (or operating division) funded under this Act that has research and
development expenditures in excess of $100,000,000 per year shall develop a Federal
research public access policy that provides for—
(1) the submission to the agency, agency bureau, or designated entity acting on behalf
of the agency, a machine-readable version of the author’s final peer-reviewed
manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals
describing research supported, in whole or in part, from funding by the Federal
(2) free online public access to such final peer-reviewed manuscripts or published
versions not later than 12 months after the official date of publication; and
(3) compliance with all relevant copyright laws.
Electronic Fronteir Foundation announcement about Bill and publicly funded research.
Benefits to Data Sharing
• Helps to avoid duplication, thereby reducing costs and wasted
• Promotes scientific integrity and debate
• Enables scrutiny of research findings and allows for validation
• Leads to new collaborations between data users and data
• Improves research and leads to better science
• Increases citations*
* A study by Piwowar, Day and Fridsma showed a 69% increase in citation,
Get a DOI For Your Data
These pages link to helpful data resources and
will be updated regularly to reflect new
Research Data Management has planning,
sharing and saving information
DMPTool has funder templates
Coming Soon: VCU Scholarly Compass our
• Make final manuscripts open and accessible.
• Add lectures, essays, etc., anything you want
• Monthly usage reports will be sent to you.