Digital Data Management, Curation, and Archiving

National Institutes of Health

Per the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy published in 2014, researchers submitting proposals for projects that will generate large-scale human or non-human genomic data must include a genomic data sharing plan. Regarding which of the sections below are recommended or mandatory, the following guidance is provided by the NIH:

[A]ll applicants proposing to generate human or non-human data, elements 1 and 2, a description of the data type and the data repository, should be provided at the time of the application. Applicants proposing to generate human data should also provide information addressing elements 3-5 (data submission and release timeline, IRB assurance of the genomic data sharing plan, and appropriate use of the data, respectively) and, if applicable, element 6 (request for an exemption to the submission) prior to award. Applicants proposing to generate non-human data need also to address element 3 (data submission and release timeline) prior to award.

Department of Defense

Per the DoD Public Access Plan released in February, 2015, supplementary data management plans are integral to all contract or grant proposal packages. The supplement will describe how data management will adhere to DoD policy on the dissemination and sharing of research products. Note that the DoD's Public Access plan specifically references a Department implemented data management and discovery network, which utilizes a common core metadata schema. Links are provided below.

In broad terms, the DMP will describe:

  • The types of data, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project that are publicly releasable
  • The standards to be used for data and metadata format and content
  • Conditions for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements
  • Conditions and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the creation of derivative works
  • Plans for archiving data sets, or data samples, and other digitally formatted scientific data, and for preservation of access thereto
  • If, for legitimate reasons, the data cannot be preserved and made available for public access, the plan will include a justification citing such reasons.

From the DoD Public Access Plan:

Department of Education - Institute of Education Sciences

From the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Policy Statement on Data Sharing in IES Research Centers:

Data sharing provides opportunities for other researchers to review, confirm or challenge study findings, which is an important aspect of the scientific process. In addition, data sharing can enhance scientific inquiry through a variety of other analytic activities, including the use of shared data to: test alternative theories or hypotheses; explore different sets of research questions than those targeted by the original researchers; combine data from multiple sources to provide potential new insights and areas of inquiry; and/or conduct methodological studies to advance education research methods and statistical analyses.

Department of Energy

Per the Department of Energy's Statment on Digital Data Management, proposals submitted after October 1, 2014 will be required to include a Data Management Plan. The DOE's suggested elements of a data management plan with links to resources are provided below.


Department of Transportation

NOTE: At the request of DOT lawyers, the DMP template provided by the online DMPTool is accompanied by the following disclaimer:

“This tool serves to provide guidance for how to prepare a Data Management Plan (DMP). The output of this tool does not constitute an approved government form. Those preparing DMPs for submission to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) should use their best judgment in determining what information to include. USDOT has identified five (5) broad areas that should be addressed in a DMP, but is not requiring any specific information to be included in any submitted DMP. USDOT may, at its discretion, establish an Office of Management and Budget-approved information collection. Once approved, the information collection will become a form with a control number, and certain DMP elements may become mandatory.”

With those caveats in mind, researchers are encouraged to refer to the detailed template provided by the online DMPTool.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The recommended sections and guiding questions provided in the linked template below are taken from the foundation website's DMP guide. Each question may not apply to a given project, but researchers should answer as completely as possible those which are relevant.

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) requires a DMP for projects that develop digital content. The requirement includes specific recommendations and questions depending on whether a project involves the creation of digital datasets, software tools or electronic systems, and/or collections or databases of new content or metadata. All researchers are required to complete the section covering Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights, along with whichever other additional sections apply.

The Digital Stewardship Supplementary Information and the Digital Product forms below include more information. Please contact Research Data Services with any questions about addressing the requirements.

Joint Fire Science Program

The Joint Fire Science Program requires submission of a maximum two page DMP with all proposals. From the JFSP application requirements:

It is the intent of the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) that all data collected or generated through JFSP funds be of high quality and be made freely available to others within a reasonable time period.


NASA's Data Management Plan requirements are described in the administration's 2014 Public Access Plan. With limited exceptions including human subjects research, proprietary data, and sensitive or export controlled data, the requirements apply to all NASA employees and recipients of NASA research funds. Requirements as broadly described on the NASA-Funded Research Results webpage include:

  • All proposals or project plans submitted to NASA for scientific research funding will be required to include a DMP. The DMP should describe whether and how data generated through the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved (including timeframe), or explain why data sharing and/or preservation are not possible or scientifically appropriate. At a minimum, DMPs must describe how data sharing and preservation will enable validation of published results or how such results could be validated if data are not shared or preserved.
  • DMPs must provide a plan for making research data that underlie the results and findings in peer-reviewed publications digitally accessible at the time of publication or within a reasonable time period after publication. This includes data (or how to access data) that are displayed in charts and figures. This does not include preliminary data; laboratory notebooks; drafts of scientific papers, plans for research; peer-review reports; communications with colleagues; or physical objects, such as laboratory specimens. This requirement could be met by including the data as supplementary information to the published article, through NASA archives, or other means. The published article should indicate how these data can be accessed. (

The online DMPTool provides a template with additional guidance.

NEH Office of Digital Humanities

Similar to the NSF, the NEH Office of Digital Humanities requires a short DMP, not to exceed two pages, to be submitted as a supplementary document. Current documentation, accessible from the links provided below, notes that DMPs are considered during the peer review of proposals, and that post award reports are expected to include discussion of compliance with the plan.

National Institute of Justice

Since 2014, the NIJ has required funding applicants to submit a 1-2 page Data Archiving Plan with all proposals. In the plan, researchers are asked to demonstrate their recognition that data sets resulting from NIJ funded research must be submitted for archiving (typically to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data) and to describe how the data will be curated or managed to facilitate replication of results. Per the NIJ's Data Archiving Plans for NIJ Funding Applicant website, the plan must briefly describe:

  • Anticipated manipulations of original, intermediate and final data sets
  • Methods of documentation of such manipulations
  • Preparation of the submission for archiving 

More information is available on the website. A Data Archiving Plan template is also available from the online DMP Tool.


From NOAA's Data Management Procedural Directive:

NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 212‐15, Management of Environmental Data and Information, states that environmental data is to be managed based upon a lifecycle that includes developing and following a data management plan...The goal of the Data Management plan is to ensure that data are properly collected, documented, made accessible, and preserved for future use in a NOAA Data Center or other longterm archive facility.


Key concepts as defined in the Data Management Plan for NIFA-Funded Research Projects documentation released April, 2015:

  • Data (digital and non-digital) are the ultimate outputs of most research investments from NIFA.
  • Appropriate data management is critical to all research enterprises and helps preserve outcomes and outputs of public and private investment.
  • Access and sharing of digital and non-digital data helps increase the scope and outcomes of scientific discoveries, sometimes beyond the initial boundaries of the research.
  • A DMP should be a core component of a research planning process and should contain adequate information for successful implementation.
  • The type of data that needs to be stored, preserved, and shared depend on the type of research, the scientific discipline, and financial implications.
  • Adequate resources must be available to implement the DMP.

Essentail elements of a USDA NIFA Data Management Plan are described in the sections below.

US Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey provides comprehensive data management planning guidance covering the full spectrum of the research data lifecycle. Accordingly, data management plans which fully address the concepts and issues defined by the USGS will be more comprehensive than the two-page, high level overviews requested by other agencies and sponsors. More detailed information and sample plans are available from USGS Data Management.

The template and suggestions provided below are taken from the USGS DMP template provided by the online

DMP Tool Online

A good resource for developing any data management plan is the DMP Tool Online.

By selecting University of New Mexico from the drop down list on the sign in page, you will be able to access templates created by our Data Librarians, as well links to UNM specific recommendations and resources.

Sample Data Management Plans