This general template for a data management plan is based on general NSF guidelines. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR CALL FOR PROPOSALS AND WITH YOUR DIRECTORATE FOR MORE SPECIFIC DMP CONTENT REQUIREMENTS. In cases where the expected content of a DMP is not specified by your funding body, using this template should enable you to cover all of the appropriate material. This material is largely based on the DMPTool template; we strongly encourage you to use this service because it keeps all of the funder requirements up to date. The DMPTool allows you to create, maintain and archive your DMPs in one location.
1. Types of data & materials produced
Give a short description of the data and materials collected and created, and amounts (if known).
2. Data & metadata Standards
Describe the format of your final data, and your metadata schema. Metadata includes all of the contextual information that would be necessary for someone to understand, use or recreate your dataset (even many years from now). Metadata usually includes a text-based description of the dataset as a whole (human-readable), and a formalized schema that defines your variables for machine-based cataloging and discoverability. See section on metadata (link) for more information.
3. Policies for Access and Sharing
This section is very important. Your funding agency needs to see that you have thought carefully about how you will prepare (manage) your data for sharing and how you will share your data with the public in reasonable time after the conclusion of your project. If the data are of a sensitive nature - human subject concerns, potential patentability, species/ecological endangerment concerns – such that public access is inappropriate, address here the means by which granular control and access will be achieved (e.g. formal consent agreements; anonymization of data; restricted access, only available within a secure network). See section on data sharing (link) for more information.
4. Policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives
Explain how the policies & procedures you outlined above relate to the reuse and redistribution of your data. Identify who will be allowed to use your data, how they will be allowed to use it, and if they will be allowed to disseminate your data.
5. Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them
This section should cover your long-term strategy for preserving the data produced during your project. See section on data archiving.
You are encouraged to ask for funding support for the management and preservation of your data. Consider not only hardware costs, but also the personnel time needed to maintain them. If you don’t have room in your 2-page DMP to cover this material, include it in your budget and budget justification.
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