Data Management at NPS

Frequently Asked Questions

Need research help?


Ask a Librarian



Help with research; search strategies; finding books, articles, reports on a topic; finding NPS theses; citations & Zotero; library accounts and access


Define "data" or "dataset/data set"


DATA = all structured information ("unstructured" information examples:  press release, fact sheet; however, a fact sheet can be broken down into component parts -- title, body text, images, related links -- thus becoming "structured" information)

DATASET = a collection of data presented in tabular or non-tabular form

SOURCE:  Open data policy: managing data as an asset (May 13, 2013, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense)

"For purposes of this memorandum, data is defined consistent with OMB Circular A-110, as the digital recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, including data sets used to support scholarly publications, but does not include: laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer review reports, communications with colleagues, or physical objects, such as laboratory specimens."

SOURCE:  Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research (February 22, 2013, Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology Policy)

Do I need to provide public access to my course materials?


No!  Course writings/materials are generally not considered "public release."  However, if you would like to mark your course materials as ""Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited" then the Library will be happy to post them in Calhoun (and DTIC).  This determination can be made on a professor-by-professor, course-by-course basis.

Are there limitations to file sizes you can handle?


Not at this time; however there are restrictions on individual files sizes that can be downloaded from the NPS network.  Calhoun (built on DSpace open source software) can handle most any type of file.  Our practice is to ZIP or TAR huge  files that patrons are able to download and use on their local systems.  The Library, Research Board and ITACS are engaging with the NPS community to determine the desire/need for additional centralized data warehouses.    You may also wish to use discipline-specific archives for posting and providing public access to your data.

What data formats will you accept?


You may submit data in any format (please include a README file to help others use your data).  We hope to be able to migrate data as standards will change over time.

Do you have sample language about Calhoun that I can use in my Data Management Plan?


Yes!  Suggested language:

The data, scholarly publications and student capstone reports resulting from this proposal will be deposited into Calhoun, the NPS Institutional Archive []. This institutional archive, run by the NPS Dudley Knox Library, is an open access platform that provides global distribution of and access to NPS scholarship. Calhoun provides long-term preservation of digital objects and persistent URLs/Handles for archival citations. Data will be accompanied by the appropriate documentation, metadata, and code to facilitate reuse and public access.

When do I need to start providing Data Management Plans with my grant proposals?


  • NSF: effective date 18 January 2011; new policies effective January 2017
  • DOD: effective date 9 July 2014
  • DoE: effective date 1 October 2014
  • NPS: not yet determined; just do it!

What if my dataset contains PII?


All datasets posted in Calhoun (or other data repositories) must be stripped of all personally-identifiable information (PII) in accordance with DOD/DoN privacy laws and Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies.

When should I deposit my data?


You should deposit your dataset when it is in a "final" state.  For example data that accompanies and supports a journal or proceedings article or book chapter; a thesis, capstone, dissertation, or technical report; or for presentation at a conference.

Can NPS post my journal articles or conference papers "as published" (i.e., the "article of record") and associate that article with my supporting data? 


Yes!  IF the article is written by a government employee as part of his or her official duties and the publisher does not add original, copyright protected content, then the government may reproduce and disseminate an exact copy of the published work either in paper or digital form*.

Talk to us about your data -- we can associate it on the same metadata record with your publication or we can create a stand-alone data record for cross-linking -- whichever best suits your case-by-case needs.

*Matthew Bender & Co. v. West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 674 (2d Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 119 S. Ct. 2039 (1999)). (SOURCE:  Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright question 3.2.3)

Tell me more about copyright issues affecting U.S. Government employees and works of the U.S. Government.