A Step-By-Step Guide to Data Management
In 1999 the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 was amended to require Federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The federal government strengthened its position on research data management in January 2011 when the National Science Foundation (NSF) instituted a requirement that all proposals submitted to that agency must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan” (DMP). The DMP should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. Specifically, the plan should address five points: expected data, the period of data retention, data formats and dissemination, roles and responsibilities and data storage and preservation of access. Other funders and even some journal publishers are instituting similar requirements.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to thinking about and preparing a DMP. It is based primarily on the DataONE Data Life Cycle and represents a highly condensed version of the DataONE Best Practices Primer.