The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires a data management and sharing plan (DMSP) for grant applications. This guide will review the NSF’s requirements and provide resources and examples plans. The Office of Scholarly Communication offers additional 1-on-1 assistance developing DMSPs. Please contact us to schedule a consultation or to conduct a DMSP review before you submit your application.Please refer to the NSF website for up-to-date guidance and NSF directorates and division-specific guidance.
NOTE: Even if if your proposed project will not produce data, you must include a document justifying this in place of the data management plan. For projects that do produce data, the 2-page plan should cover five areas:
Description of data. Describe the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials and other materials to be produced during the project.
This section allows you to explain which file formats you’ll be using and detail what metadata will be shared. Metadata are structured information about the data that facilitate its interpretation and reuse. Metadata include information such as who created the data, date of creation, sample ID number, etc. It is important to share document(s) that outline file naming convention, file organization, defines variables, and protocols.
Data standards should be considered for each type of data being collected/analyzed. Explain any cases where there are no formal standards for a particular data type and how the data will be structured and include codebooks and/or data dictionaries.
These sample plans were contributed by UAB researchers with successfully funded NSF grants. If you would like to add your Plan to the collection, please contact the OSC.
Sample 1. Functional genomics project in Drosophila. Data types include DNA sequencing and tabular data. Multiple data repositories including Open Science Framework (OSF), Sequence Read Archive (SRA), Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and Dryad.
Sample 2. Student behavioral study. Data types include behavioral data, survey responses, and data from the Rockviewer software and electronic records. Data repositories include OSF and an external institutional repository.
Effective July 24, 2023, the National Science Foundation (NSF) updated the Project Reporting System in Research.gov to enable datasets and research materials to be entered as distinct product types that are managed and reviewed separately. This change improves project report data quality by listing each product type resulting from NSF funded research as a separate entry rather than a combined listing of multiple product types.
An updated How to Add Datasets to the NSF-PAR and NSF In-progress Project Reports guide and updated How to Remove Datasets from the NSF-PAR and In-progress Project Reports guide are available on the Research.gov About Public Access page. Visit the NSF Public Access Initiative page for more information including the NSF Public Access Plan 2.0 - Ensuring Open, Immediate and Equitable Access to National Science Foundation Funded Research.
The design of this page was partly adapted from Research: By Course, Subject, or Topic, by University of Arizona Libraries, © 2020 The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of The University of Arizona, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.