Learn about data management requirements

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), and interest in ensuring the products of federally funded research has only grown since then. Federal funding agencies increasingly require the inclusion of a data management plan in a grant proposal, as well as evidence of data management, archiving, or sharing. These requirements are still evolving, particularly after the release of the Memorandum for Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research from the Office of Science and Technology Policy on February 22, 2013.

For information on what different agencies currently require, please use the menu below.

***This page is currently being updated to reflect the new policies released in response to the OSTP memo. Until this page reflects the most current information, please visit our Federal Agency Public Access Policies Research Guide for the most up-to-date information.

    Additional Information

    "The purpose of CDC’s data release/sharing policy is to ensure that (1) CDC routinely provides data to its partners for appropriate public health purposes and (2) all data are released and/or shared as soon as feasible without compromising privacy concerns, federal and state confidentiality concerns, proprietary interests, national security interests, or law enforcement activities."

  • DoD
    Additional Information

    "It is DoD policy under DoD Directive 3200.12 to establish and maintain a coordinated and comprehensive program to document the results and outcome of DoD-sponsored and/or performed research and engineering (R&E) and studies efforts and provide access to those efforts in an effective manner consistent with the DoD mission"

  • DoE Office of Science
    Statement on Digital Data Management

    "To integrate data management planning into the overall research plan, the following requirements will apply to all Office of Science research solicitations and invitations for new, renewal, and some supplemental funding issued on or after October 1, 2014. These requirements apply to proposals from all organizations including academic institutions, DOE National Laboratories, and others. These requirements do not apply to applications to use Office of Science user facilities. All proposals submitted to the Office of Science for research funding must include a Data Management Plan (DMP)."
    Some DOE program offices have issued their own guidelines for the preparation of a data management plan. The information below summarizes program-specific guidelines (where they exist) with links to full documentation.

    • Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR)

      Additional Information

      "The following guidance and requirements provided by the ASCR program office supplement but do not replace the guidance and requirements in the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management. ASCR considers software to be a data artifact that is covered by the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management. Research funded by ASCR may produce several different types of software (e.g., those that encode a mathematical algorithm, implement a specific tool or service, become part of a base Operating System). Other funded research may result in the creation or consumption of data that could be used to analyze application or system behavior. Software and data created by funded research must be released with sufficient descriptions to facilitate the validation of research results."

    • Basic Energy Sciences (BES)

      Additional Information

      "BES does not have additional general guidance or requirements to the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management."

    • Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

      Additional Information

      "The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program requires that all publishable data, metadata, and software resulting from research funded by the Genomic Science program must conform to community-recognized standard formats when they exist, be clearly attributable, and be deposited within a community-recognized public database(s) appropriate for the research."

      "Research data obtained through public funding are a public trust. As such, these data must be publicly accessible. To be in compliance with the data policy of the U.S. Global Change Research Program of full and open access to global change research data and the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management, the required Data Management Plan (DMP) must include a description of the researcher's data sharing plans if the proposed research involves the acquisition of data in the course of the research that would be of use to the climate research and assessment communities."

    • Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)

      Additional Information

      "FES does not have additional general guidance or requirements to the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management...Data management plans for codes should address the elements outlined in the SC Statement. With respect to codes, FES specifically encourages that codes developed with FES funding and used to analyze experimental data and/or to perform simulations be made available to the broader community via Open Source licensing."

    • High Energy Physics (HEP)

      Additional Information

      "The Office of High Energy Physics reiterates the Digital Data Principles enunciated in the Office of Science (SC) Statement on Digital Data Management."

    • Nuclear Physics (NP)

      Additional Information

      "The Office of Nuclear Physics (NP) supports the Digital Data Principles enunciated in the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management. The following guidance and requirements provided by the NP program office supplement but do not replace the guidance and requirements in the Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management."

    • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

      Additional Information

      "All SBIR and STTR proposals must contain a Data Management Plan (DMP). Proposals without a DMP may be rejected without further review. There is no requirement, however, to share proprietary data."

  • DOJ
    Additional Information

    "The Department of Justice has adopted a presumption that when an office or division of the Department publishes a report that summarizes quantitative data that the office or division has collected, the component will also make the underlying data available through an appropriate channel."

  • EPA
    Information Quality Guidelines

    In addition to the Quality Assurance Statement, which asks applicants to describe their plans for collecting and managing the data used in their proposed project, many applications to the EPA require a Data Plan. In these cases, applicants are asked to "Provide a plan to make all data resulting from an agreement under this RFA available in a format and with documentation/metadata such that they may be used by others in the scientific community. This includes data first produced under the award, i.e., from observations, analyses, or model development collected or used under the agreement. Applicants who plan to develop or enhance databases containing proprietary or restricted information must provide, within the two pages, a strategy to make the data widely available, while protecting privacy or property rights."

  • GBMF
    Additional Information

    "All data used or developed in whole or in part by GBMF funded projects will be made widely available and freely shared as soon as possible...As part of the GBMF grant development process, potential grantees are required to develop a Data Management and Sharing Plan with their GBMF grant officer."

  • IMLS
    Additional Information

    "IMLS encourages sharing of research data. The purpose of this section is to help IMLS understand a grant applicant’s research practices and plans for management of data that would be generated through a proposed research project. If the proposed project activities will generate datasets with the potential for future re-use or repurposing, answer the following questions."

  • NASA
    Additional Information (pg. 2-9 and F-4)

    "All data taken through research programs sponsored by NASA are considered public. NASA no longer recognizes a proprietary period for exclusive use of any new scientific data that may be acquired through the execution of the award...To facilitate data sharing where appropriate, as part of their technical proposal, the Proposer shall provide a data-sharing plan and shall provide evidence (if any) of any past data sharing practices."

  • Earth Science Division
    Additional Information

    "NASA's Earth Science program was established to use the advanced technology of NASA to understand and protect our home planet by using our view from space to study the Earth system and improve prediction of Earth system change. To meet this challenge, NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with the research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public."

  • Office of Digital Humanities
    Additional Information

    The National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities requires the inclusion of a data management plan with grant proposals. "The data management plan (DMP) should be short (no more than two pages) and will be submitted as a document supplementing a grant application. The plan will need to address two main topics: What data are generated by your research? and What is your plan for managing the data?"

  • NIH
    Additional Information

    "In NIH's view, all data should be considered for data sharing. Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data. To facilitate data sharing, investigators submitting a research application requesting $500,000 or more of direct costs in any single year to NIH on or after October 1, 2003 are expected to include a plan for sharing final research data for research purposes, or state why data sharing is not possible."

  • NOAA
    Procedural Directive and Additional Information

    "All NOAA Grantees must share data produced under NOAA grants and cooperative agreements in a timely fashion, except where limited by law, regulation, policy or security requirements. Grantees must address this requirement formally by preparing a Data Sharing Plan as part of their grant project narrative."

  • NSF
    Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results Policy and Data Management Plan Requirement

    "Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing...Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled 'Data Management Plan'. This supplement should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results"
    Some NSF directorates have issued their own guidelines for the preparation of a data management plan. The information below summarizes directorate- and division-specific guidelines (where they exist) with links to full documentation.

    • Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)

      Advice to PI's

      "Proposals must include a supplementary document of more than 2 pages labeled 'Data Management Plan.'... The DMP should describe how the PI(s) will manage and disseminate data generated by the project in sufficient detail to enable evaluation of the plan (and past performance if any) during the merit review process. Adherence to the proposed DMP will be monitored by the BIO Program Directors and Committees of Visitors."

    • Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)

      Advice to PI's

      "CISE is aware of the need to provide flexibility in assessment of data management plans. There are many variables governing what constitutes "data" and its management, and each community within CISE has its own practices. CISE Divisions will rely heavily on the merit review process in this initial phase to determine which plans best serve each community. The DMP should clearly articulate how the PI and co-PIs plan to manage and disseminate data generated by the project. The plan should outline the rights and obligations of all parties as to their roles and responsibilities in the management and retention of research data, and consider changes that would occur should a PI or co-PI leave the institution or project. Any costs should be explained in the Budget Justification pages."

    • Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)

      Advice to PI's

      "An appropriate data management plan is required as a supplementary document (maximum of two pages) for all proposals submitted. This plan is to be included in the Supplementary Documents section of the proposal and is not part of the 15-page limit for the Project Description. The NSF will not evaluate any proposal that lacks a DMP for competitions that have a due date or target date on or after January 18, 2011. Even if no data are produced, e.g., the research is purely theoretical or is in support of a workshop, a DMP is required."

    • Directorate for Engineering (ENG)

      Advice to PI's

      "An appropriate DMP must be provided as a supplementary document (maximum of two pages) for all research proposals submitted to ENG and its programs. [As a supplementary document, it is not part of the 15 page limit for proposal bodies.] Efficiency and effectiveness of the DMP will be considered by NSF and its reviewers during the proposal review process. Archiving of both physical and digital data must be addressed in the plan, but in the present document, particular attention is given to the new needs for managing digital information."

    • Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)

      Advice to PI's

      "The NSF brings transparency to its long-standing policy on dissemination and sharing of research results through the required inclusion of a data management plan with each project submission...Plans for the dissemination and sharing of research results will be traceable from the beginning to the end of a project (proposal, review, and annual/final report). The primary goal of this procedural change is to assure that products of research help NSF achieve its mission to promote the progress of science and engineering."

    • Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

      Advice to PI's

      "MPS-supported research covers a broad spectrum of communities of investigators, from individual investigators on experimental and theoretical topics to support for users at national and international facilities to large national and international collaborations of investigators involving tens or hundreds of individuals. Each Division within MPS has developed a set of information items to provide guidance to the communities served by that Division in preparing a Data Management Plan that will meet the goals of the NSF plan. MPS Divisions will rely heavily on the merit review process in this initial phase to determine those types of plan that best serve each community and update the information accordingly."

    • Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)

      Advice to PI's

      "The National Science Foundation has released a new requirement for full proposal submissions regarding the management of data generated using NSF support. Starting in January, 2011, all proposals must include a data management plan (DMP)...Proposals must include sufficient information that peer reviewers can assess both the data management plan and past performance. The plan should reflect best practices in your area of research, and should be appropriate to the data you generate."

  • Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
    Additional Information

    "The research community is becoming closer knit in terms of data. Large scale projects spanning distance and time require data sets that one site alone cannot produce. SERC is being asked for an accounting of its data holdings and requests for actual data come at increasing tempos. SERC's Science and Information Technology Committees have recognized a need for a data sharing policy and are currently considering the issues."

  • USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
    Additional Information

    "The Project Director is expected to publish or otherwise make publicly available the results of the work conducted under this award."

  • Institute of Education Sciences
    Additional Information

    "The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is committed to advancing education research through the sharing of scientific data collected through its grant-funded research programs...Specific instructions for including the data sharing plan in applications will be addressed in the Request for Applications for these two grant competitions. All Goal Four Scale-Up Evaluation applications must include a plan that describes the data to be shared, the method of sharing (e.g., through the Principal Investigator or data archive), the written documentation that will accompany the data, the plan for preventing disclosure of personally identifiable information, and the timeline and costs for data sharing."