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last updated: 10/3/2013

NSF Data Management Plan Requirements


The National Science Foundation now requires a supplementary document of two pages or less describing a Data Management Plan for all proposed research. Data Management Plans (DMPs) are intended to demonstrate that the grantee has a strategy for how data that is produced in the course of research will be preserved and made accessible for the life of the project and beyond, in accordance with the NSF Policy on Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results. Compliance with the DMP for an awarded grant is monitored by the NSF and must be reported in later proposals under “Results of prior NSF support” (NSF, 2011).

What to Include in Your Data Management Plan

From the NSF Grant Proposal Guide:

  • 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.

Various NSF directorates have requirements that are specific to their discipline. Consult this list and conform to additional directorate requirements, where applicable:

IU Bloomington Resources

Indiana University Bloomington offers a variety of resources to help researchers write their DMPs and also meet the NSF Policy on Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results:

  • DMPTool
    This interactive website offers guidance and resources for writing your own Data Management Plans to the specifications of a variety of grant funding agencies and NSF directorates and divisions. Among its chief advantages is the availability of boilerplate language for researchers who plan to use the IUB cyberinfrastructure to manage their data.
  • NSF Data Management Plan Boilerplate
    IU-specific language to help you write a data management plan that conforms to general NSF (NSF-GEN) requirements.
  • IUB Data Management Service
    Consultations on data management plans available via email. Detailed information on the data management services and cyberinfrastructure that Indiana University Bloomington offers affiliated researchers.
  • OVPR Proposal Development Services
    Offers guidance to researchers in planning and conceptualizing externally funded research projects, seeking funding, and submitting well-crafted and responsive applications.

The IU Libraries can answer questions about the policy on an individual basis or through meetings with groups or departments. We can also help you implement your Data Management Plan (archiving, preservation, and description of data) during or upon completion of your research.

Contact or visit the IUB Data Management Service website for more information.

General Resources

last updated: 10/3/2013