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Data Management Planning

What You Can Do

For the National Institutes of Health

Suggested paragraph content for your NIH document:

  • Indicate the data products that will be shared.
  • Include in the list any analytic tools being provided, such as algorithms, code, or software.
  • What is the format of the final dataset? (e.g., Excel spreadsheets, text records, jpg images, an SQL database. Specify if there are particular tools or software required to read the data.)
  • Optional: What additional documentation will be included to allow others to use the data? (Specify if the data applies a standard metadata format used by your community, and indicate if explanatory text files, code books, or other documentation will be included.)

Data access and policies

How will the data be disseminated and accessed?  Modes of sharing include:

  1. Data will be deposited at a data archive. (Name the archive or data center, mention if it is NIH-funded or has data access policies and procedures consistent with NIH data sharing policies.) See UML Sample Documents.
  2. Identify when the data will be shared. NIH policy requires the timely release and sharing to be no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final data set.





What You Can Do

For the National Science Foundation

Your NSF plan should include detailed information covering the eight recommended elements below. 

Data description

  • What is the nature, scope, and scale of your research data?
  • What are the types of data? What are the anticipated amounts in terms of size?
  • Is the data related to other existing data? If so, how might the data be synchronized?

Access and Sharing (See UML Sample Documents)

  • How do you intend to archive and share your research data?
  • Why have you chosen this option?
  • Will there be an embargo restricting access for a certain period of time?
  • What if any materials will be publicly accessible through a Campus Repository?
  • For Social Science data, will the ICPSR be utilized?
  • Will the data be transferred in a timely manner? How so?


  • What details are needed to make your data understandable and discoverable?
  • What metadata standards will be used?
  • How will you create and capture the metadata?
  • How will the metadata be made available and linked to the data objects?

Intellectual Property Rights

  • Who owns copyright to the data?
  • How will the rights be protected if necessary?
  • What constraints will be enacted? When might these constraints be lifted?

Ethics and Privacy (if applicable)

  • How will the identity of human subjects be protected?
  • Explain the informed consent criteria for the project.
  • What confidentiality measures are planned?

File Format

  • What file formats will be used to preserve and distribute the data?
  • What consideration has been given to the use of preservation-quality formats?
  • What measures will be taken to keep file formats current?

Archiving and Preservation

  • What plan is in place to migrate data to new formats, platforms, and storage media?
  • What efforts will be made, such as checksums, to maintain data integrity assurance?
  • Who is the designated successor for data management responsibility?

Storage and Backup

  • On what platforms will the data be stored?
  • What are the backup schedules, what locations?



♦ Data organization: how will the data be managed during the project?

♦ What version controls, naming conventions, etc. will be employed?

♦ Quality assurance: What procedures will be enacted to assure data quality?

♦ Responsibility: Who is actually responsible for the data? What are his/her qualifications?

♦ Budget: How will costs be covered, particularly for long-term management?

♦ Selection and Retention: Does the data deserve long-term preservation?

♦ Audience: Who is the intended audience or designated community?

♦ Security and Legal Requirements that may apply.