Preparing NSF Data Management Plans
Since 2011 the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has required that all submitted proposals include a Data Management Plan (DMP). A DMP is a plan for the management and sharing of any data and other kinds of products resulting from the activities in a proposal. Why did NSF start to require DMPs? NSF is a U.S. federal agency supported by taxpayer dollars. As such, data and other products generated by NSF-supported research need to be made available in a format for others to use. Investigators need to be sure that their project meets the expectation that data gathered using public funding will be preserved in ways to facilitate long-term public accessibility and use. Making data publicly available in this way will also permit future meta-analysis, which adds value to the original data collection.