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Data Management Plans: NSF Data Management Plans

NSF's Data Sharing Policy

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 (Source)

Data Management Plans

Effective January 18, 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all submitted proposal include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan" (DMP). This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.

Proposals that do not include a DMP will not be able to be submitted.

Precisely what your DMP should include will depend on the specifics of your proposed project; however, DMPs will generally cover the following areas:

  1. The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curricular 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);
  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.

Data management requirements and plans specific to individual NSF directorates and units are available at:

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. HOWEVER, PIs should note that the statement will be subject to peer review. Contact your grant writer and/or your program officer before concluding that data management and sharing is unnecessary.

So, what do I say about MOspace in my data managment plan?

Remember that DMPs are subject to peer review, so the nature of the plan will be specific to your project. If you will be using MOspace: Institutional Repository as part of your data archiving plan (and we encourage you to do so!), you can say something like the following:

"[X type of data] will be deposited in MOspace Institutional Repository, the University of Missouri's digital institutional repository. MOspace is based on MIT's DSpace technology and is a joint venture of the University of Missouri's Division of Information Technology and the University Libraries. MOspace items will include appropriate metadata and a permanent URL. Items will be freely available via the MOspace web site at and will be searchable via Google and other search engines."