In May 2010, the NSF announced that beginning on or around October 2010, a change to the current data sharing policy will be implemented. With this change, all funding proposals must include a data management plan, in the form of a 2 page supplementary document.
I have been hard-pressed to track down any follow up information from the NSF since this announcement during the May 5th meeting of the National Science Board, until recently. At the recent Annual External Funding Conference of the American Association of State Colleges & Universities, a representative from the NSF shared an update on the DMP (presentation can be found here: http://www.aascu.org/grcinfo/EFC10/Presentations/Wednesday/900a/Jean_Feldman.pdf).
As the existing policy currently stands, “it expects investigators to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental costs and within a reasonable amount of time, the data […] gathered in the course of the work”.1 Following the implementation of the new DMP, the (maximum) 2 page supplementary document at the end of all funding proposals:
- Should describe how the proposal will conform to the NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.
- May include the statement that no detailed plan is needed, provided that this statement is accompanied by a clear justification.
- Will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal, coming under Intellectual Merit or Broader Impacts or both, as appropriate for the scientific community of relevance.
- Will be automatically checked by NSF’s FastLane for compliance with the DMP requirement.
The NSF plans to release an updated edition of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide in October 2010. Of the various updates to this guide, the new DMP will be included.
So, what can you do to prepare? Resources are available; this includes DMP templates that may assist you in creating a DMP of your own. The Digital Curation Centre of the United Kingdom has created a template that may prove especially useful; it can be found here: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/templates/DMP_checklist.pdf
Alright…but what if your DMP is nearly complete, but you aren’t exactly sure what resources will assist you in managing your data? The California Digital Library offers two new services that will help you with managing, sharing, preserving, and identifying your data and research content. These services complement each other in the data and digital object management process.
- Merritt (http://merritt.cdlib.org) is a repository service that enables users to manage, archive, and share their digital content.
- EZID (http://n2t.net/ezid) is a service that helps users obtain and manage long-term identifiers for their digital content.
For questions pertaining to the NSF’s new DMP, or for questions regarding creation of your data management plan, and using resources such as Merritt and EZID, please contact either the Blaisdell Medical Library (Sacramento Campus) or the Carlson Health Sciences Library (Davis Campus). You may locate the libraries’ contact information from this link: http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/dept/hsl/services/reference.php.
1. National Science Board. Long-Lived Digital Data Collections: Enabling Research and Education in the 21st Century. Arlington; 2005. Report No.: NSB-05-40.