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Data Management Plans: Writing the Plan

Creating a data management plan for access, sharing, and preservation

NSF Guidelines

The NSF's Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results site provides links to guidelines on addressing data management plans. "If guidance specific to the program is not provided, then the requirements established in Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II.C.2.j apply."

NSF states that, "if a specific program solicitation provides guidance on preparation of data management plans, such guidance must be followed".

From application Guide,, Jan 18, 2011 (pdf):

Important note to applicants: Each application must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan" in the attachment name. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:

  1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  2. 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); [UH ScholarSpace uses the Dublin Core metadata scheme]
  3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them. [UH ScholarSpace founded on DSpace software can archive digital data]

Preservation of Data for UH Manoa Researchers

ScholarSpace,, is an institutional repository for UH Manoa research papers, videos, datasets, instructional materials.

ScholarSpace provides long-term preservation of digital files.

ScholarSpace can provide permanent access to data or act as a safe storage space until data are moved to a discipline specific data repository.

NSF Frequently Asked Questions

A list of FAQs and answers can be found at FAQs

Here are some of the questions/answers:

Is a plan for Data Management required if my project is not expected to generate data or samples?

Yes. It is acceptable to state in the Data Management Plan that the project is not anticipated to generate data or samples that require management and/or sharing. PIs should note that the statement will be subject to peer review.

My institution's policy is that the data and all supporting materials from all research are owned and must remain with the institution if I leave. How does this policy affect what I can say about data management and access?

Data maintenance and archiving by an institution is one avenue by which data preservation and access can be achieved. However, the data access plan must address the institutional strategy for providing access to relevant data and supporting materials.

Should the budget and its justification specifically address the costs of implementing the Data Management Plan?Yes. As long as the costs are allowable in accordance with the applicable cost principles, and necessary to implement the Data Management Plan, such costs may be included (typically on Line G2) of the proposal budget, and justified in the budget justification.

Templates for Data Management Plans

DMPTool select University of Hawaii from the pull-down menu and login with your UH name and password.

An excellent online tool developed by the California Digital Library, the National Science Foundation, the Digital Curation Centre, and several universities. This tool offers templates for NSF and NEH grant applications. Here is a sample DMP (pdf) created using the DMPTool