US National Science Foundation to mandate research data management plans

During the May  meeting of the National Science Board, National Science Foundation (NSF) officials announced a change in the implementation of the existing policy on sharing research data. In particular, on or around October, 2010, NSF is planning to require that all proposals include a data management plan in the form of a two-page supplementary document. The research community will be informed of the specifics of the anticipated changes and the agency’s expectations.

The changes are designed to address trends and needs in the modern era of data-driven science. Ed Seidel, acting assistant director for NSF’s Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate acknowledged that each discipline has its own culture about data-sharing, and said that NSF wants to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the issue. But for all disciplines, the data management plans will be subject to peer review, and the new approach will allow flexibility at the directorate and division levels to tailor implementation as appropriate.

Full details can be found in the NSF press release.

Data Management Plans are also required by a growing number of research funders in the UK. The Digital Curation Centre provides a useful overview of current UK funder requirements for data management and sharing plans and a Data Management Plan Content Checklist.

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