NSF Data Management Plan

What Should Be Included?

On January 18, 2011, NSF began requiring an up to two-page, supplementary document labeled:  “Data Management Plan (DMP)”.    This document should describe how the proposed research team will conform to NSF’s dissemination and sharing of research results policy.   Suggested items from GPG, II.C.2.j for inclusion in this document are:
  • The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  • 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);
  • Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Program or other NSF unit can have requirements specific to them.  Please see http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp for further guidance.  Frequently Ask Questions may be found at:  http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmpfaqs.jsp.

Note that a valid Data management Plan may include only a statement that a detailed plan is not needed.  A clear justification must also be included in this situation.

Data Dissemination and Sharing Requirements

NSF is very serious about the dissemination and sharing of research data in these plans.  As the agency’s approach to data management plans matures, it is likely that data storage on personal computers with access via the PI will no longer be acceptable solutions. More public sharing and archiving solutions for K-State researchers include K-REx (Marty Courtois courtois@ksu.edu) for smaller data sets and storage on K-State Central computers (Chris Casey, csc@ksu.edu) for larger sets.

Currently, there are plans to add easy access online with search capability for metadata stored within the system and to provide online access to the data itself where practical.  (See K-State guidance document). Off campus options include:

Example Data Management Plans