As of January 18, 2011, all proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) must include a Data Management Plan that describes how the proposal will adhere to the NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. 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. See Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4 for more detailed information.
Data management requirements and plans specific to Directorates, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. If guidance specific to the program is not provided, then the requirements established in Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II.C.2.j apply.
A Data Management plan may include:
- the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
- 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);
- policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
- policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
- plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.
If a Data Management plan is not relevant to the proposed research, a valid plan may state that no detailed plan is needed, provided that clear justification is offered.