Monday, October 04, 2010

NSF Data Management Plans - language is out!

The National Science Foundation had said back in May of this year that Data Management Plans will be required in future grant applications, and that they would elaborate on this in October.

Academic librarians have been wondering if developing these plans might cause researchers to consult us about developing quality metadata for their data.  Ideally, thought should be given in advance of data collection to how research might be used in the future, by the researchers themselves, and by others, maybe even in other fields; tagging the data at its inception is most efficient. Looks like baby steps at the beginning, though.

Link to the NSF page where the language on Data Management Plans is published:

Specific language for various units within NSF (Directorate, Office, Division, Program, etc.) is here:

On that page is a link to an FAQ about Data Management Plans: 
For an example, here is Frequently Asked Question #3:
3. Am I required to deposit my data in a public database?
What constitutes reasonable data management and access will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management. In many cases, these standards already exist, but are likely to evolve as new technologies and resources become available.

We're all in a brave new world.  If you are a UMass Amherst person and are interested in speaking with a librarian about how the Library might be able to work with you on a Data Management Plan, please get in touch!

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