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last updated: 6/12/2013

NEH Data Management Plan Requirements

The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Office of Digital Humanities (NEH ODH) 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. Compliance with the DMP for an awarded grant is monitored by the NEH and must be reported in interim and final project reports, and also a white paper that should discuss data management challenges (NEH, 2011).

What to Include in Your Data Management Plan

The NEH ODH’s guidelines (PDF) explain that your Data Management Plan should address two main topics:

  • What data are generated by your research?
  • What is your plan for managing the data?

More specifically, your Plan should include information on:

  • Expected data: the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project. You should include information on under which conditions you would generate and share your data, how the data will be managed up until that point, what mechanisms you plan to use to share data, and what metadata you plan to include.
  • Period of data retention: timely access to data is an important consideration for the NEH. You should include information on how you plan to assure such access.
  • Data formats and dissemination: what policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives have you formulated for your data? How will you ensure appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements? Address these issues and also how you plan to manage data with respect to major partners, including those in industry or user communities.
  • Data storage and preservation of access: describe how you plan to archive your data using physical resources, cyber resources, or both.

IU Bloomington Resources

Indiana University Bloomington offers a variety of resources to help researchers write their DMPs and also meet the guidelines on writing Data Management Plans for NEH Office of Digital Humanities Proposals and Awards (PDF):

  • 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. Among its chief advantages is the availability of boilerplate language for researchers who plan to use the IUB cyberinfrastructure to manage their data.
  • IUB Data Management Service
    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.


last updated: 6/12/2013