Data Management Plan Policy
Juniata College Research Data Management Plan
Data in their many forms, are one of Juniata College’s most important assets. In every area, and at every level of the campus, members of the campus community are managing or using campus data. As with other assets, (i.e., financial, physical) managing data requires each of us to take responsibility for its reliability and security. The integrity of data must be protected against threats such as unauthorized intrusions, malicious misuse, or inadvertent compromise. While we cannot perfectly protect data, we can implement responsible management practices that improve both the confidentiality and accuracy of our data while reducing overall risk and liability to individuals, departments and the campus.
Data management is one of the essential areas of responsible conduct of research, as outlined in Juniata’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy (http://services.juniata.edu/catalog/policies/?section=view&policy=1289)
The National Science Foundation now requires all proposals to include plans for data management and sharing of the products of research. Please note that a valid Data Management Plan may include only the statement that no detailed plan is needed, as long as the statement is accompanied by a clear justification. FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate.
The information here is meant to assist PIs in developing a Data Management Plan, as required by NSF. Much of the information provided is directly from the NSFGrant Proposal Guide.
This policy applies to all Juniata College employees, students, and other members of the campus community who are performing federally funded research. Responsibility for data management resides with the office of the Vice President for Finance & Operations.
Research dataare formally defined as “the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings” by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (1999).
The basic level of digital data to be archived and made available includes (1) analyzed data and (2) the metadata that define how these data were generated. These are data that are or that should be published in theses, dissertations, refereed journal articles, supplemental data attachments for manuscripts, books and book chapters, and other print or electronic publication formats.
Analyzed data are (but are not restricted to) digital information that would be published, including digital images, published tables, and tables of the numbers used for making published graphs.
Necessary metadata are (but are not restricted to) descriptions or suitable citations of experiments, apparatuses, raw materials, computational codes, and computer-calculation input conditions.
Data not included at the basic level in the Office of Management and Budget statement (1999) is defined as “preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues.” Raw data fall into the category of “preliminary analyses.”
Juniata College holds that data ownership will be determined based on conditions imposed by the funders, research institutions and data sources. Faculty and students will be held responsible to be fully aware of all provisions stated in their contracts with the funding organizations. .
Juniata College will not be held responsible for any stolen, damaged or loss data. It is the responsibility of the researcher to insure the safety of the information collected.
Data retention and data sharing depend on the funders’ preferences. Faculty and students are expected to be familiar, and abide with, Freedom of Information Act requests once their data is published. However, in practice Juniata adheres to the principles of data management consistent with and recommended by the National Institutes of Health.
For more information on this topic see:
Tutorial - Clinical Tools, Inc. - Guidelines for Responsible Data Management in Scientific Research
NSF Data Management Plan Requirements
The NSF site has full policy information on the NSF website -
The policy includes:
- The plan should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:
1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.
- Data management requirements and plans specific to the Directorate, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. Specific plans are available for the following Directorates and Programs:
- Engineering Directorate (ENG)
- Geological Sciences Directories (GEO)
- Division of Earth Sciences
- Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
- Division of Ocean Sciences
- Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS)
- Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)
- If guidance specific to the program is not available, then the requirements established in this document apply.
Other Items to consider:
- Simultaneously submitted collaborative proposals and proposals that include sub-awards are a single unified project and should include only one supplemental combined Data Management Plan, regardless of the number of non-lead collaborative proposals or sub-awards included.
- Proposals for supplementary support to an existing award are not required to include a Data Management Plan.
- A valid Data Management Plan may include only the statement that no detailed plan is needed, as long as the statement is accompanied by a clear justification.
- Proposers who feel that the plan cannot fit within the supplement limit of two pages may use part of the 15-page Project Description for additional data management information. Proposers are advised that the Data Management Plan may not be used to circumvent the 15-page Project Description limitation. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal, coming under Intellectual Merit or Broader Impacts or both, as appropriate for the scientific community of relevance.
Creating a Data Management Plan
Planning data management ahead of time saves time and resources in the long run and ensures that data will be usable in the future.
Topics to cover in a written plan include:
- description of the project: purpose of the research, organizations and staff involved
- name of the persons responsible for data management, during your research project and over time; how you will ensure adherence to the plan over time
- description of data to be collected, method of collection, its nature and format
- explanation of how data will be documented throughout the research project
- discussion of data quality issues
- description of your short-term and long-term storage and preservation plans, including backup procedures
- explanation of how you will make the data available for public use and potential secondary uses
- explanation of your plans to preserve the data and ensure a long-lived format
- description of any arrangements that might be needed to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property; any other legal or ethical considerations
Links to many examples and models: http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/data-management/plans.html
NSF Data Management & Sharing Frequently Asked Questions (updated 11/30/10)
From the NSF website http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmpfaqs.jsp
Juniata College Record Retention and Destruction Policy http://services.juniata.edu/catalog/policies/?section=view&policy=1168
1. What constitutes “data” covered by a Data Management Plan?
What constitutes such data will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management. This may include, but is not limited to: data, publications, samples, physical collections, software and models.
2. Is a plan for Data Management required if my project is not expected to generate data or samples?
Yes. It is acceptable to state in the Data Management Plan that the project is not anticipated to generate data or samples that require management and/or sharing. PIs should note that the statement will be subject to peer review.
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.
4. There is no public database for my type of data. What can I do to provide data access?
Contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer for assistance in this situation.
5. Should the budget and its justification specifically address the costs of implementing the Data Management Plan?
Yes. As long as the costs are allowable in accordance with the applicable cost principles, and necessary to implement the Data Management Plan, such costs may be included (typically on Line G2) of the proposal budget, and justified in the budget justification.
6. My institution's policy is that the data and all supporting materials from all research are owned and must remain with the institution if I leave. How does this policy affect what I can say about data management and access?
Data maintenance and archieving by an institution is one avenue by which data preservation and access can be achieved. However, the data access plan must address the institutional strategy for providing access to relevant data and supporting materials.
7. Does data management and access include supporting documentation and metadata, such as validation protocols, field notebooks, etc.?
All researchers are expected to be able to explain and defend their results. Doing so usually entails maintaining complete records of how data were collected. The manner in which one maintains such records and makes them available to others will vary from project to project. What constitutes reasonable procedures will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management. These standards are likely to evolve as new technologies and resources become available.
8. How long should data be archived and made accessible?
What constitute reasonable procedures will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management.
9. Does this policy mean that I must make my data available immediately, even before publication?
Not necessarily. The expectation is that all data will be made available after a reasonable length of time. However, what constitutes a reasonable length of time will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management.
10. What are NSF’s expectations regarding the release of data that include sensitive information (e.g., information about individuals or locations of endangered species)?
Such data must be maintained and released in accordance with appropriate standards for protecting privacy rights and maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. Within legal constraints, what constitutes reasonable data access will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management.
11. My data include information of potential commercial value. Am I required to make that information available?
Not necessarily. It is NSF’s strong expectation that investigators will share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. However, it is also necessary to protect intellectual property rights and potential commercial value. The Data Management Plan should describe the proposed approach, which will then be subject to peer review and program management. (For example, research use of sensitive data is often allowed through reasonable binding agreements that contain confidentiality provisions.)
12. Does NSF have particular requirements for archiving and accessibility of samples, physical collections and so forth?
No. If appropriate, your Data Management Plan should describe the types of samples, and/or collections, etc., that you will use, as well as personal, institutional or other repositories for archiving and providing access to others. What constitutes reasonable archiving and accessibility will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management.
13. Does NSF have particular requirements for what types of samples, physical collections, and so forth should be saved?
No. What constitutes reasonable requirements will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management. These standards are likely to evolve as new technologies and resources become available.
14. If data or samples are requested before I have completed all analyses on them, must I share them?
No. The expectation is that all data will be made available after a reasonable length of time. One standard of timeliness is to make the data or samples accessible immediately after publication. However, what constitutes a reasonable length of time will be determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management
15. How does this policy relate to the issue of open access publishing?
Open-access publishing (making all published articles freely available) is a separate issue that is not addressed in the implementation of the data management plan requirement.
16. If I participate in a collaborative international research project, do I need to be concerned with data management policies established by institutions outside the United States?
Yes. There may be cases where data management plans are affected by formal data protocols established by large international research consortia or set forth in formal science and technology agreements signed by the United States Government and foreign counterparts. Be sure to discuss this issue with your sponsored projects office (or equivalent) and your international research partner when first planning your collaboration.
17. My proposal is interdisciplinary and there are multiple sets of guidance to follow on NSF's website (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp), which one do I follow?
All proposals are submitted to a lead program, with the option to specify other programs that the PI would like to consider the project. If the guidance appropriate to the lead program applies, it should be followed. Otherwise, provide a clear explanation of what you would do if the project were funded. Bear in mind that the merit review is conducted by colleagues from the communities of relevance and that your plan should be convincing to them. It should also be commensurate with the level of effort requested and required, and appropriate to the long-term value and benefit to your colleagues of any generated data products.
Approved: September 2013
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