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NSF Data Management Plan - Overview

What should your Data Management Plan (DMP) address?

"Beginning January 18, 2011, the National Science Foundation will require all proposals to submit a Data Management Plan (DMP) that describes how data generated by the project will be made publicly available ( On this website are links to Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4. and Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j. The DMP, as a supplementary document, will be peer-reviewed to ensure research replicability as well as allow the "mining" of existing data for re-use for a similar or even very different purpose. Data Management Plans, therefore, must identify how data sets are to be collected and then archived, identified, discoverable, and retrievable." (1)

(1) The quoted notice was provided by the Purdue Libraries and Office of the Vice President for Research.

In summary, your DMP should include the following:
  • Data Types: The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project
  • Metadata: The standards to be used for data and metadata format and content
  • Access and Sharing: Policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements
  • Re-use: Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives
  • Archiving: Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them

Take a look at the different sections outlined on the left to discover more about what should be included in each of these categories of your DMP!