What is a Data Management Plan?
It can be a plan that you use internally to document the procedures and data handling guidelines in your lab - a roadmap or blueprint. A resource that you can use when new students join the lab, or new colleagues become affiliated with the project. It explains how you do stuff. Think of it as your instruction manual.
It can be a brief paragraph that answers a question or two from a funder that covers their data management requirement. These are usually included in the narrative section of a proposal. It may also be an extensive description of your data management plans, written throughout the proposal.
The most familiar variation is a formal document called a data management plan (DMP) that is required by funders and that must be included to even submit your proposal.
It may also be called a Data Sharing Plan (DSP), or a Data Access Plan (DAP), or a Resource Sharing Plan (RSP), or a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP), or a Data Management and Access Plan (DMAP), or....whatever the funder chooses to call it. Each funder will have different requirements, and a different focus. The most important thing to remember is to draft a DMP that answers the questions that the funder is asking, in the manner that they prefer.
Remember that a DMP is an iterative document. It can, and should, be updated if necessary. Because it is usually written before the project is funded it is not unusual that changes may need to be made to it.
DMPs should not be confused with Research Plans, Project Plans, Data Security Plans, Resource Sharing Plans, or Data Collection Plans.
There are several tools available to help you draft a DMP. We also provide templates that you can use. The next three sections of this guide cover these areas.
Do you need a template to draft a data management plan? Not everyone wants to use the DMPTool, and we understand. Maybe you would like to have a template that you can use in a classroom setting so your students can practice writing a plan. Perhaps you would simply like to see what the requirements are for a given funder, so you can get a head start on your next grant proposal.
The NSF and NEH templates are identical to the ones in the DMPTool. The NIH, DOE and IES templates were created in response to these funders changing requirements. The CDC templates are created from their original draft templates. Some funders have specific requirements for a program, and those guidance documents are also available here. All templates are in Word format, and Rich Text format are available by request.
The appropriate guidance documents are provided with the templates. I have also created some discipline-specific guidance for a few of the templates. They are based on my experience with DMPs for those funders.
To download the templates simply click the link. You can also visit the template page on our website to download them.
The U.S Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences solicits grant proposals in 2 major categories: Research Programs and Research Training Programs. Funding opportunities are posted each year in May for the next calendar year. http://ies.ed.gov/funding/.
Implementation Guide for Public Access to Research Data includes information about the required Data Management Plan. It includes information on the requirement, responsibility, and content for a DMP. It covers the timing of providing access to the data, human subjects and privacy issues, proprietary data issues, methods for providing access to data, data documentation and the reminder that you can include the costs of sharing data in your budget. IES requires grantees to submit their peer-reviewed scholarly publications to ERIC.
ERIC Grantee and Contractor Requirements: FAQ
The Department of Energy (DOE) has two divisions that provide funding for academic research - The Office of Science (OS) and the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). They both adhere to the Department's policies on digital data management.
The Department of Energy affirms that the following principles for the management of digital research data support its mission.
Data Types and Sources. A brief, high-level description of the data to be generated or used through the course of the proposed research and which of these are considered Digital Research Data necessary to Validate the research findings.
Content and Format. A statement of plans for data and metadata content and format including, where applicable, a description of documentation plans, annotation of relevant software, and the rationale for the selection of appropriate standards. (Existing, accepted community standards should be used where possible. Where community standards are missing or inadequate, the DMP could propose alternate strategies that facilitate sharing, and should advise the sponsoring program of any need to develop or generalize standards.)
The anticipated means for sharing and the rationale for any restrictions on who may access the data and under what conditions;
A timeline for sharing and preservation that addresses both the minimum length of time the data will be available and any anticipated delay to data access after research findings are published;
Any special requirements for data sharing, for example, proprietary software needed to access or interpret data, applicable policies, provisions, and licenses for re-use and re-distribution, and for the production of derivatives, including guidance for how data and data products should be cited;
Any resources and capabilities (equipment, connections, systems, software, expertise, etc.) requested in the research proposal that are needed to meet the stated goals for sharing and preservation (This could reference the relevant section of the associated research proposal and budget request);
Cost-benefit considerations to support whether/where the data will be preserved after direct project funding ends and any plans for the transfer of responsibilities for sharing and preservation;
Whether, when, or under what conditions the management responsibility for the research data will be transferred to a third party (e.g. institutional or community repository);
Any other future decision points regarding the management of the research data, including plans to re-evaluate the costs and benefits of data sharing and preservation.
If you intend to use any of the Office of Science User Facilities, you will need to follow the data management requirements of the facilities in addition to the requirements of the programs and DOE. ASCR, BES, BER, FES, HEP and NP all have facilities available. The User Facilities page provides links to all of these resources.
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) fulfills the Department of Energy (DOE) responsibility to collect, preserve, and disseminate research and development (R&D) results emanating from DOE funding. They provide access to the OSTI.gov; DOE Pages; DOE Data Explorer; DOE Code; DOE Patents; ScienceCinema; Science.gov; WorldWideScience.org; and SC e-journals sites and portals.
Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists The DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) leverages the expertise of its six research program offices and the unique capabilities at DOE’s laboratories to sponsor workforce training programs designed to motivate students and educators to pursue careers that will contribute to the Office of Science’s mission in discovery science and science for the national need.
Public Reusable Research (PuRe) Data is a designation for key data repositories, knowledge bases, analysis platforms, and other activities that strive to make data publicly available to advance scientific or technical knowledge.
Quantum Information Science (QIS): There is growing interest in quantum information science (QIS)—forms of computing and information processing that might get around “classical” physical limitations by relying on exotic quantum effects. The DOE Office of Science (SC) efforts in QIS, informed by community input, target DOE-mission-focused applications by leveraging SC’s unique strengths. Major contributions to QIS focus on the following areas: (1) Supporting fundamental science that underpins quantum computing, simulation, communication, and sensing; (2) Creating tools, equipment, and instrumentation that go beyond what was previously imaginable; and (3) Establishing DOE community resources that enable the entire QIS ecosystem to innovate. The SC is targeting applications in 4 main areas: quantum computing, analog quantum simulation, quantum communication, and quantum sensing and microscopy.
Program Office QIS pages
Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) ODH offers a single grant program, the Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG). The current Announcement (NOFO) document DMP requirement is in Attachment 8: Data management plan. Sample Application Narratives, Budget Resources and Program Resources can be found on the ODH DHAG program resource website.
Digital Humanities Advancement Grants: see Attachment 8 for DMP requirements (1/2020)
Fundamental Research DARPA fully supports free scientific exchanges and dissemination of research results to the maximum extent possible.
"The application should include a clearly articulated data management plan and use of an appropriate database to safeguard and maintain the integrity of the data." DMPs are attachments with no page limits and cover data collection, confidentiality, data capture and verification, reporting, and sharing.
CDMRP bases their data sharing requirements on the NIH guidelines. (PDF)
NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The NIH and related agencies are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The NIH Data Sharing Policy encourages NIH-funded researchers to share their final research data for use by other researchers in a timely way (i.e., no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final data set). The Policy expects applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in funding from NIH for research for any one year to include a data sharing plan or state why data sharing is not possible. There are several different data sharing policies in effect for the NIH, IC division, and at the program level. The Data Sharing Policies Chart includes information and links to all of the relevant policies. All NIH units follow the NIH policies. Many have additional requirements and guidelines.
NIH has maintained a list of NIH-supported data repositories for several years. They do not endorse or require sharing in any specific repository and encourage researchers to select the repository that is most appropriate for their data type and discipline (though such specification does exist for particular initiatives). To help researchers locate an appropriate resource for sharing their data, as well as to promote awareness of resources where datasets can be located for reuse, they maintain lists of several types of data sharing resources:
***New Policy for Data Management and Sharing (effective January 25, 2023)
Generic template: nih-gen template
Supplemental guidance documents including the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance and the FAQs identify what the plans should cover. They include:
More detailed information can be found in the Key Elements to Consider in Preparing a Data Sharing Plan Under NIH Extramural Support document.
The Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is a longitudinal multicenter study designed to develop clinical, imaging, genetic, and biochemical biomarkers for the early detection and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since its launch more than a decade ago, the landmark public-private partnership has made major contributions to AD research, enabling the sharing of data between researchers around the world.
Three overarching goals of the ADNI study are:
Data Sharing and Publication Policy also includes their Data Use Agreement.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. In addition, the Library coordinates a 6,500-member Network of the National Library of Medicine that promotes and provides access to health information in communities across the United States.
The Genomics and Health Program analyzes the scientific, ethical, and social implications of genetic and genomic research on health and, as warranted, provides policy recommendations on particular issues or concerns raised through genomic research and emerging technologies. The Genomic Data Sharing Policy (2014) builds upon the basic NIH policy. Refer to section 188.8.131.52 Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy in the NIH Grant Policy Statement.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) research creates knowledge about and treatments for diseases that are among the most chronic, costly, and consequential for patients, their families, and the Nation.
Data Share website for the sharing of completed clinical trials data.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.
ABCD Data Repository Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study data
CCF data from the Human Connectome Projects
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Data Archive (NIAAADA)
Accelerating Medicines Partnership – Schizophrenia (AMP SCZ) Data Repository
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is the driving force for advancing genomics research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The mission of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is to generate and disseminate fundamental knowledge about the effects of alcohol on health and well-being, and apply that knowledge to improve diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems, including alcohol use disorder, across the lifespan.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease.
Quality Assurance Guidelines Section 3.4 Data Management
Nurses understand that improving health and well-being requires addressing health needs at multiple levels: individual, family, community, and societal. The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) research uses this perspective to improve individual and population health and advance health equity by identifying nursing practice and policy solutions across clinical and community settings that are responsive to the realities of people’s lives.
Research Supported by NINR
The National institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invests in research and fosters collaborations and partnerships to promote and support evidence-based science to inform practice and policy. Its programs and initiatives provide a leading edge in enhancing the scientific knowledge base and designing interventions to improve health outcomes to reduce and ultimately lead to the elimination of health disparities.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) mission is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
The mission of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care.
Scientific Program Areas are Division of Applied Science & Technology (Bioimaging), Division of Discovery Science & Technology (Bioengineering), Division of Health Informatics Technologies (DHIT), and Training.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders is mandated to conduct and support biomedical and behavioral research and research training in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language. The institute also conducts and supports research and research training related to disease prevention and health promotion; addresses special biomedical and behavioral problems associated with people who have communication impairments or disorders; and supports efforts to create devices that assist individuals with hearing loss or other communication disorders.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training.
The mission of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is to advance fundamental knowledge about dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) health and disease and translate these findings into prevention, early detection, and treatment strategies that improve overall health for all individuals and communities across the lifespan.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is expanding and accelerating its contributions to scientific knowledge of human health and the environment, and to the health and well-being of people everywhere.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) supports basic research that increases our understanding of biological processes and lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS-funded scientists investigate how living systems work at a range of levels from molecules and cells to tissues and organs, in research organisms, humans, and populations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. The CDC and related agencies are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They use grants and cooperative agreements to fund research and non-research public health programs. They require awardees for projects that involve the collection or generation of data with federal funds to develop, submit and comply with a Data Management Plan (DMP) for each collection or generation of public health data undertaken as part of the award and, to the extent appropriate, provide access to and archiving and/or long term preservation of collected or generated data.
The CDC requires a DMP for every data collection or data generation of public health data funded by an award. The DMP may be submitted with the proposal that is in response to a FOA or after the funding has been awarded. Awardees should submit a DMP during the project planning phase, but no later than prior to the initiation of generating or collecting public health data. A DMP should include the following information:
Remember that the DMP is a living document that can, and should, be updated throughout the life cycle of the data. The DMP may be evaluated during the application, study proposal, project review process, or at any time in the project period.
Additional requirement - 25: Data Management and Access "CDC requires recipients for projects that involve the collection or generation of data with federal funds to develop, submit and comply with a Data Management Plan (DMP) for each collection or generation of public health data undertaken as part of the award and, to the extent appropriate, provide access to, and archiving/long-term preservation of, collected or generated data."
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) mission is to develop new knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice.
CDC’s Centers, Institute, and Offices (CIOs) allow the agency to be more responsive and effective when dealing with public health concerns. Each group implements CDC′s response in their areas of expertise, while also providing intra-agency support and resource-sharing for cross-cutting issues and specific health threats. The following is a list of those units that engage in extramural research or provide resources for researchers:
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data sharing requirements for extramural research were drafted in February 2016. The purpose...is to ensure that environmental data funded extramurally by NOAA are made publicly accessible in a timely fashion (typically within two years of collection), in a format that is machine-readable and based on open standards, and which includes the metadata necessary to find and properly use the data. Additionally, the final manuscripts of peer-reviewed research papers must be deposited with the NOAA Central Library. The Directive requires that funding opportunity announcements include Data Management Guidance, and relevant proposals include a Data Management Plan (Appendix A). This is effective for all FFO Announcements, Grant Solicitations and Special Award Conditions issued on or after June 1, 2016.
The data management plan (DMP) is a document that is no more than 2 pages long, describing how these requirements will be satisfied. The contents of the Data Management Plan (or absence thereof), and past performance regarding such plans, will be considered as part of proposal review. A typical plan should include descriptions of the types of environmental data and information expected to be created during the course of the project; the tentative date by which data will be shared; the standards to be used for data/metadata format and content; methods for providing data access; approximate total volume of data to be collected; and prior experience in making such data accessible. The costs of data preparation, accessibility, or archiving may be included in the proposal budget unless otherwise stated in the Guidance.
NOAA defines data management as "a combination of two major activities conducted in coordination, data management services and data stewardship, which together constitute a comprehensive end-to-end process including movement of data and information from the observing system sensors to the data user. This process includes the acquisition, quality control, metadata cataloging, validation, reprocessing, storage, retrieval, dissemination, and archival of data."
Environmental (research) data and information collected or created under NOAA grants or cooperative agreements must be made discoverable by and accessible to the general public, unless a waiver has been granted. They must be listed in NOAA's public catalog. Data should be machine-readable, preferably a widely-used or open-standard format, and should also be accompanied by machine-readable documentation (metadata), preferably based on widely used or international standards. Information can be found in the NOAA Data Access Procedural Directive, along with a copy of the waiver request form.
Persistent identifiers (DOI) must be assigned to data so that users can reference the identifiers when data are used in research, scholarly communications, assessments, models or derived products. Data archived at the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), [which includes the organizations formerly known as the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC), and the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)], will have a DOI assigned to them after deposit. They cannot provide DOI's for data deposited in other repositories, and encourage you to submit your data to the NCEI.
NOAA requires that data must have a comprehensive metadata record which complies with the NOAA This is a requirement for all data generated by NOAA funding, not just ones deposited in NCEI. The primary metadata requirement . Information on it and the is in the Metadata resource.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for the stewardship of the nation's ocean resources and their habitat.
The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) manages and operates NOAA's fleet of 15 research and survey ships and 10 aircraft.
The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), we provide secure and timely access to global environmental data and information from satellites and other sources to promote and protect the Nation's security, environment, economy, and quality of life.
National Ocean Service (NOS) provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies and their contribution to the national economy.
National Weather Service (NWS) provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy.
The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet.
NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) hosts and provides public access to one of the most significant archives for environmental data on Earth. We provide over 37 petabytes of comprehensive atmospheric, coastal, oceanic, and geophysical data.
Archive The official archive for data collected by NOAA scientists, observing systems, and research initiatives. Includes information on Submission Guidance, Preferred file Formats, Services, Related Information (other data archives and partners) and an FAQ.
The NOAA Institutional Repository is a digital library of scientific literature and research produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through curated collections researchers can access documents and materials related to specific areas of research.
NOAA Central Library The mission of the NOAA Central Library is to support and further NOAA’s mission of promoting global environmental stewardship in order to conserve and wisely manage the Nation's marine and coastal resources; and describing, monitoring, and predicting changes in the Earth's environment in order to ensure and enhance sustainable economic opportunities. The NCRL provides scientific, technical and legislative information covering global climate change, aquaculture, coastal zone management, fisheries, meteorology, ocean/atmospheric interactions, remote sensing, cartography, geophysics, photogrammetry, GIS, and water resources to NOAA scientists, administrators, and others working in related disciplines in support of NOAA's programs.
The NOAA Data Discovery Portal provides two approaches to enable searching NOAA's vast data holdings: the traditional NOAA Data Catalog for all data, and the new NOAA OneStop catalog which initially includes only the archived datasets but will eventually replace the traditional catalog.