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Research Guides

Data Management

Data management plans

Many key granting organizations, like NSF, NIH, NEH and more, now require submitters to include a Data Management Plan as part of their application. These plans outline what steps the applicant will take to collect, safeguard, archive, and make available the data used for the research in question.

The particular requirements of a data management plan will vary among funding agencies, so it is best to always consult the agency. However, there are a few attributes that are common to all data management plans, including:

  • A description of the type(s) of data to be produced
  • Methods of how the data will be collected and who will be responsible for data management
  • Standards you will use to describe your data (metadata standards)
  • Backup and storage procedures
  • Provisions for long-term archiving and preservation
  • Access policies and provisions for secondary uses: will it be available to others? 
  • Any protection or security measures taken to protect participant confidentiality

Funding agency guidelines

National Science Foundation (NSF)

FAQ's about Data Management and Sharing

Data Management Plan Requirements by Directorate

Data Archiving Policy

Grant Proposal Guide


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance


National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Data Management Plans for NEH Office of Digital Humanities Proposals and Awards [PDF]