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Data Sharing and Public Access Policies

What to include in most DMPs

Be sure to check your funding agency's requirements, but below are the basic components of a data management plan with a data sharing component.

Describe whether and how data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved.  [Note:  some agencies require data while others allow statements as to why it is not feasible to share the data.]

Describe how data sharing and preservation will enable the validation of results or how results could be validated if data are not shared or preserved. 

Plan for making all research data displayed in publications from the research open, machine-readable and digitally accessible, including data displayed in charts, figures, images, etc.  The underlying digital research data should be made as accessible as possible.

Funding agencies want to know:

  • What data you are producing that will be accessible (shared) with others?
  • When and how will you make it discoverable?  Placed in a repository, data commons or other location so others can find it?
  • How will you make accessible?  Will there be restrictions to some or all the data and if so how do people obtain access?
  • How will you make it useable/reusable?  Will there be documentation, definitions, descriptions of methodology, use of standard terminology, etc.

Basics of a data sharing plan:

  • What data will be generated in this project?
  • Who will be responsible for data activities?
  • How will the data that I am responsible for need to connect to other data sets?
  • What formats will be used (Excel, MySQL, jpg, etc.)?
  • How should the data be documented?  What information about the data will need to be captured so that others can understand it?
  • Where should the data be stored and who should have access to it?
  • How should the data be organized?  Should a file naming convention be used?
  • Will the data be published or archived at the end of the project? Where?