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Data Management Plans for the Social Sciences

Suggested resources for designing data management plans (DMP) for your research project.

National Science Foundation - DMP Requirement

National Science Foundation

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. See Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4.

Proposals submitted or due on or after January 18, 2011, must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan”. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. See Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.j for full policy implementation.

For guidelines from select NSF directorates, please see:

Education & Human Resources Directorate (EHR) (includes brief "examples" at end of document)

Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)

Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate (CISE)

See also NSF's FAQ for data management and sharing

National Institutes of Health - DMP Requirement

"The NIH policy on data sharing applies: 

  • To the sharing of final research data for research purposes.
  • To basic research, clinical studies, surveys, and other types of research supported by NIH. It applies to research that involves human subjects and laboratory research that does not involve human subjects. It is especially important to share unique data that cannot be readily replicated. 
  • To applicants seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year of the proposed project period through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.
  • To research applications submitted beginning October 1, 2003."

"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."

For more information on NIH's DMP requirements, please see:

Private Foundations

Private foundations may have requirements or guidelines related to data collection and data sharing, which may or may not include a DMP. Requirements may vary by program. Check directly with each organization for specifics.

Funding Agencies and Organizations - Data Management Plan Requirements

Read below for more information about data management plan requirements for select federal funding agencies