RGS Office provides tools to create data management plans

On February 22, 2013, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memorandum to all federal departments and agencies detailing the administration’s commitment to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research. In the near future, every federal agency will require a data management plan (DMP) as part of the proposal process for federal research funding. Currently, only NSF and NIH require data management plans.

In response, and to aid researchers in satisfying the data management requirement, Utah State University has partnered with the University of California system, UC San Diego Libraries, DataONE, the Smithsonian Institution, and other organizations as a contributing institution in the DMPTool. The DMPTool is a web-based system researchers can use to help build data management plans for proposals.

“There are two pieces to the data management puzzle – how to deal with data storage and accessibility and the actual data management plan written for a proposal,” said Jerilyn Hansen, director of proposal development for the USU Office of Research and Graduate Studies. “For piece one, we’ve been working with the Library and Central IT exploring data storage options currently available at USU and elsewhere, and what we can do in the interim to facilitate archiving and accessibility until the federal agencies announce their own protocols. Piece two is helping researchers write effective data management plans via the DMPTool. When everything finally gets decided at the federal level regarding this, we want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to data management.”

With the use of the DMPTool, USU researchers can:

  • Create ready-to-use data management plans for specific funding agencies
  • Meet requirements for data management plans
  • Get step-by-step instructions and guidance for data management plans
  • Learn about resources and services available at USU to fulfill data management requirements of grants

Users of the DMPTool can save plans and reuse them for future proposals, modifying as necessary. Completed plans can be exported as a plain text or rich text (e.g., Microsoft Word) document for addition to an application package. Plans can also be shared via a web link as a PDF document for review and comment by proposal team members.

“Everybody needs to be aware of what the new mandate is because it will eventually affect all researchers who seek federal funding,” Hansen said. “We encourage faculty to explore the DMPTool and start using it in those instances where a data management plan is needed.”

Learn more about data management requirements and access the DMPTool.