Data Management at NPS

Tips for creating data management plans (DMPs).

Why Create a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A data management plan (DMP) is a simple document that helps you describe and manage the lifecycle of your data sets.

Funding agencies (including the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation) require the inclusion of DMPs with grant submissions as part of their evaluation and peer review processes.

U.S. and international Open Government/Open Data initiatives utilize DMPs as a means to provide broader public awareness of and access to federally-funded research results.  Open Data informs taxpayers about how federal funds are spent while "promoting the Progress of Science and useful Arts" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) for commercial development and/or the public good.

What's in a DMP?

Your data management plan (DMP) helps you describe your data set for the benefit of others.  It should be concise (~2 pages) and and include 6 basic components:

  1. Point of contact
  2. Description:  types and sources of data, samples, software, etc.
  3. Management:  categories of data standards for file formats and metadata
  4. Access:  information about data access and sharing (includes plan to protect confidentiality, PII, and U.S. national/homeland security)
  5. Intellectual property:  information about re-use, re-distribution, and creation of derivative works
  6. Archiving & stewardship:  lifecycle management of your data and samples

Consider the process of peer-reviewing DMPs in NSF grant proposals. 

  1. Have you hit all the marks? 
  2. How will your DMP be evaluated?

NPS Sample DMPs

DMPs submitted by NPS PIs (used with permission)

Best Practices for Data

Project Open Data