Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NSF mandate for Data Management Plans - help from the UMass Amherst Libraries

Beginning January 18, 2011, proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation 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.
To assist investigators, the National Science Foundation is providing FAQs and guidance documents from specific Directorates that address compliance. The entire policy, FAQ list, and links to Directorate information are available at For full policy implementation, see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.j.
Several federal and non-governmental funding agencies have their own set of requirements for data sharing. See for example, the University of Minnesota's list of funding agency data guidelines.

UMass Amherst Libraries: Data Working Group and Data Management Services

To help researchers meet the NSF’s requirements, the Data Working Group is coordinating the development of a number of services to help researchers analyze existing data management practices or create new practices that best fit the needs of their research projects.
Relevant services include:
  1. Guidance in the identification of appropriate data repositories for the archiving of large-scale data sets and associated research outputs, and assistance with material deposition.
  2. Consultation on metadata and standards for format and content of data, policies for data sharing and accessibility, and plans for long-term access and preservation of data sets.
  3. Provision of a globally accessible and widely indexed online location for faculty’s research outputs, including persistent URLs and searchable metadata, through ScholarWorks, the University's Institutional Repository.
This list of services will expand as the work of the Data Working Group and the Digital Strategies Group continues.
More information is available on the Library website under Services for Faculty:

Article worth reading from Aug 2010: I Hate Your Paper - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences - by Jef Akst

Thought-provoking commentary on the problems of the peer-review system due to bias or other (un)professional conduct, and the state of science and science funding. Lively comments from readers after the article are also worth reading - peer-review is fine on the whole; there are not too few, but too many papers published; that the fault lies with the editors, publishers, etc. Peer-review is changing now; I am interested to see how this plays out in this brave new world we have created.

I will likely reference this article when I talk to students about peer-review in library sessions.

I Hate Your Paper - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences -
Many say the peer review system is broken. Here’s how some journals are trying to fix it.