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Data Management

Data Management Plan (DMP) Components

Topics to cover in a written plan include:

  • Description of the project: e.g., purpose of the research, organizations and staff involved
  • Description of the data to be collected: e.g., the nature and format of the data, how it will be collected, and overview of secondary data available on the topic
  • Standards to be applied for formats, metadata, etc.
  • Plans for short-term storage and data management: e.g., file formats, local storage and back up procedures, and security
  • Legal and ethical issues: e.g., intellectual property, confidentiality of study participants
  • Access policies and provisions: i.e., how will you make it available to others, any restrictions needed, etc.
  • Provisions for long-term archiving and preservation: e.g., in a data archive
  • Assigned data management responsibilities: i.e., which persons will actually be responsible for ensuring data management; how will compliance with this plan be monitored and ensured over time?

For a more complete list of things that you want to consider in managing your data, see the data planning checklist from the MIT libraries.

Data Management Plan Template and How to Develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan from the Digital Curation Centre, United Kingdom

Texas Tech also offers access to the DMP Tool resource.

Guidelines for Social Science Data Plans

The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) provides the following guidelines for data preparation and planning in the Social Sciences.

Federal Funding Agencies: Data Management and Sharing Policies

US Federal Funding Agency Policy and Guideline Status Additional Information
Department of Energy (DOE) DOE's CIO has primary responsibility to ensure that Information Technology (IT) is acquired and information resources are managed in a manner consistent with statutory, regulatory, and Departmental requirements and priorities. With this responsibility, the CIO provides information resources management advice and assistance to the Secretary of Energy and to other senior managers.

DOE Policies

Standard Research Terms and Conditions

ARM Data Sharing and Distribution Policy

Developing Data Management Policy and Guidance Documents for your NARSTO Program

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA does have an official data management and sharing policy.

Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by the Environmental Protection Agency

Policy, Regulation, and Guidance

Survey of EPA and Other Federal Agency Scientific Data Management Policies and Guidance - 2010

Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is committed to expanding public access to federally funded digital products (i.e., digital content, resources, assets, software, and datasets). The Digital Product Form may be required for certain grants.

General Terms and Conditions for IMLS Discretionary Awards (page 12)

IMLS Open Government Web Page

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) "NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with the research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public."

Data and Information Policy

Data Rights and other Issues 

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

NEH does not have an official data management and sharing policy.  

General Terms and Conditions for Awards to Organizations

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH);Office of Digital Humanities (ODH)

NEH's Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) requires data management plans for their new grant program - Digital Humanities Implementation Grants (DHG)

Data Management Plans for NEH Office of Digital Humanities Proposals and Awards (2018)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) "The NIH expects and supports the timely release and sharing of final research data from NIH-supported studies for use by other researchers. Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why data sharing is not possible.

Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (2020) (Effective on Jan. 24, 2023)

NIH Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance (Effective until Jan. 24, 2023) (includes examples)

Frequently Asked Questions on Data Sharing

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) "The Federal Ocean Data Policy requires that appropriate ocean data and related information collected under federal sponsorship be submitted to and archived by designated national data centers." Data Submission Policies and Guidelines
National Science Foundation (NSF)

"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." 

"Proposals submitted to NSF 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."

Proposal Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPP Guide)

Data Management & Sharing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Specific program guidance:

  • Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)
U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) / National Institute of Food and Agriculture


New extramural and intramural research programs require DMPs.

  • "These data management plans will, at a minimum, describe how the researcher(s) will provide for long-term preservation of, and access to, the digital scientific data created by the proposed study." (pg 18).
  • Researchers can also explain in the DMP, why long-term preservation is not applicable.
  • Data management plans should include clear plans for sharing research data (pg 19).

All USDA-funded researchers will be required to comply with USDA's policy for making the digital data underlying the conclusions of peer-reviewed scientific research publications freely available in public repositories in machine readable formats.

Data Management Plan for NIFA-Funded Research, Education, and Extension Projects

Implementation Plan to Increase Public Access to Results of USDA funded Scientific Research

USDA Open Government Plan Version 4.0


Abridged from Tufts University Data Management Research Guide - Data Management Plans & Requirements page.