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Data Management

CCNY Data Management Plan Template

Data Management Plan Requirements

Beginning January 18, 2011, all NSF proposals must include a two-page “Data Management
Plan” outlining how the project will address NSF’s policy on the dissemination and sharing of
research results. This Data Management Plan, uploaded as a supplementary document, “will be
reviewed as an integral part of the proposal, coming under Intellectual Merit or Broader
Impacts or both, as appropriate for the scientific community of relevance” (NSF Grant
Proposal Guide). See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy
implementation. For PDF version Click Here.

Details regarding NSF’s new data management requirement can be found at NSF has also prepared answers to Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) on Data Management & Sharing. In addition, many NSF Directorates,
Divisions, and Programs have issued specific guidance for developing Data Management Plans.

Engineering Directorate (ENG)

  • Directorate-wide Guidance

Geological Sciences Directorate (GEO)

  • Division of Earth Sciences
  • Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
  • Division of Ocean Sciences

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)

  • Directorate-wide Guidance

Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS)

  • Division of Astronomical Sciences
  • Division of Chemistry
  • Division of Materials Research
  • Division of Mathematical Sciences
  • Division of Physics

Preparing Your Data Management Plan

Use the questions on the following pages as a guide for preparing your Data Management Plan.
After you have answered all of the questions relevant to your project, delete the questions
themselves, leaving only your answers. To create the final document, modify your answers into
prose that makes sense as a paragraph below each header (include the headers in your final plan).
You are required to submit your data to a publicly accessible data repository for sharing and
archiving. Please see the following lists to find an appropriate data repository:

  1. List of Data Repositories from Open Access Directory
  2. Archives and Repositories for Data from the University of Minnesota
  3. D2C2 Distributed Data Curation Center from Purdue University

If such a repository is not available, you can store your data in a Cloud Computing Environment
(e.g., Google Docs, and provide a link on your website. You may also
consider submitting your data in a Data Publishing Journal (e.g., http://earth-system-sciencedata. net/; Reasonable costs associated with managing and
storing your data may be included in your budget request to NSF.

The questions on the following pages were adapted from the University of Virginia Library, which were in turn adapted
from the Digital Curation Centre’s Checklist for a Data Management Plan, which can be found at

Data Management Plan

    1. Types of data

Describe the samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project. (Answers should be based on the text of your proposal.)

      1. What data will be generated in the research? (Give a short description, including amount and content of the data, if known.)
      2. What data types will you be creating or capturing? (e.g., experimental measures, observational or qualitative, model simulation, processed, etc.)
      3. How will you capture or create the data?
      4. If you will be using existing data, state that fact and include where you got it. What is the relationship between the data you are collecting and the existing data?
    1. Data and Metadata Standards

State 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.)

      1. Which file formats will you use for your data, and why? (e.g., .doc, .xls, etc.)
      2. What contextual details (metadata) are needed to make the data you capture or collect meaningful? (refer to journals in your field, publicly accessible data repositories or the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative – )
      3. How will you create or capture this metadata and what form will it take? (e.g. in tabular format)
      4. Which metadata standards will you use? (refer to journals in your field, publicly accessible data repositories or the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative – )
      5. Why have you chosen particular standards and approaches for metadata and contextual documentation? (e.g., recourse to staff expertise, Open Source, accepted domain-local standards, widespread usage)
    1. Policies for access and sharing and provisions for appropriate protection/privacy

PI’s are required to use a publicly accessible data repository (see links on page 1). If such a repository is not available, you can store your data in a Cloud Computing Environment (e.g., Google Docs) and provide a link on your website. Reasonable costs associated with managing and storing data may be included in the budget request to NSF. PI’s cannot charge other individuals for access to the data.

      1. How will you make the data available?
      2. When will you make the data available? (Give details of any embargo periods for political/commercial/patent reasons. Include a detailed and justified timeline for making your data available.)
      3. What is the process for gaining access to the data? (this will be specific to the data repository or other chosen method)
      4. Does the original data collector/creator/principal investigator retain the right to use the data before opening it up to wider use? (If you delay access to the data, you must include a justification in your timeline per question 2.)
    1. Provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
      1. Are there ethical and privacy issues?
      2. If so, how will these be resolved? (e.g. anonymization of data, institutional ethical committees, formal consent agreements.)
      3. What have you done to comply with your obligations in your IRB Protocol? (Visit for information about research involving human subjects.)
      4. Is the dataset covered by copyright? If so, who owns the copyright and other intellectual property? (e.g., the College or the researcher)
      5. How will the dataset be licensed if rights exist? (e.g., any restrictions or delays on data sharing needed to protect intellectual property, copyright or patentable data.)
    2. Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution
      1. Will any permission restrictions need to be placed on the data? (provide justification)
      2. Which bodies/groups are likely to be interested in the data? (provide a list)
      3. What and who are the intended or foreseeable uses and users of the data?
      4. Are there any reasons not to share or re-use data? (e.g., ethical, non-disclosure, etc.)
    3. Plans for archiving and preservation of access

Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and preservation of access to them.

    1. What is the long-term strategy for maintaining, curating and archiving the data? (e.g., depositing in a repository or ensuring that links to a Google doc are maintained)
    2. Which archive/repository/central database/data center have you identified as a place to deposit data?
    3. What transformations will be necessary to prepare data for preservation/data sharing? (e.g., data cleaning/anonymization, where appropriate.)
    4. What metadata/documentation will be submitted with the data or created on deposit/transformation in order to make the data reusable?
    5. What related information will be deposited (e.g. references, reports, research papers, fonts, the original bid proposal, etc.)
    6. How long will/should data be kept beyond the life of the project?
    7. What procedures does your intended long-term data storage facility have in place for preservation and backup? (refer to the policy of your data repository)
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