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Data Management Plan

The NSF directorate you plan to apply to may have specific guidance on preparation of data management plans.

Any proposal to the National Science Foundation must include a Data Management Plan up to two pages describing faculty plans for managing data and sharing the products of research. Your plan should reflect the NSF policy (copied below) on disseminating and sharing research results, including:

  1. The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials that will be produced during the project.
  2. The standards that will be used for the format and content of data and metadata. If existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, document the situation and propose 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-using and re-distributing data, and for producing derivatives.
  5. Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products and for preserving access to them.

External Resources for Data Managment Plan Development

Institutional Resources for Data Managment Plan Development

  • Access and Sharing: Institutional options for access and sharing include 1) college local area networks (see "Storage and Backup" below), 2) posting online via the college web site and 3) depositing data in the DigitalCommons@Linfield. Another option to consider is adding it to an off-site subject-specfic repository like the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.
  • Ethics and Privacy: Projects with live subjects must be vetted with the appropriate institutional committees including the Linfield Institutional Review Board (human) and the Animal Care & Use Committee (non-human animals).
  • File Formats: DigitalCommons@Linfield supports long-term access to selected file formats. Most of the "supported" formats are standards-based, non-proprietary, and uncompressed because they are more readily migrated to the new file formats of the future. The list of supported formats is subject to revision.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: Linfield College has no intellectual property policy, and data is not itself copyrightable. However, copyrights can be added for projects that are creative (e.g., a compilation in the case where the data selected involved creativity or an aesthetic judgement).
  • Metadata: Metadata helps others find, use and cite your data. There are various metadata standards, some specific to a particular file format or discipline. The DigitalCommons@Linfield provides its own guidelines for publishing metadata, which helps others find, use and cite your data.
  • Security: Factors to consider in keeping data secure include 1) network security, 2) physical security, and 3) computer system/files security. Password protections are required for any data stored on Linfield's local area networks such as Catfiles, which is password restricted and can be made available to select individuals or the entire the campus community. Access to files in the DigitalCommons@Linfield can be restricted to authorized users at the request of the researcher(s). Non-authorized users should contact the researcher directly to obtain access.
  • Storage and Backup: With short-term storage, three backup copies of data should be maintained: the original, a second external copy located on campus, and a third copy off-site. College options include:
    • External storage media connected to a PC or other device (e.g., hard drive, memory sticks, CD/DVD).
    • Winfiles – a home directory you share with your department. This data is automatically backed up to magnetic tape and retained for a 3-month period at an off-site storage facility. Networked storage is a limited resource
    • Catfiles – a web-based document and file management system. Data stored on Catfiles can be shared with the entire college or limited to a few individuals using, which is the recommended way of securely sharing data with people off campus.

A good option for option for long-term storage (period of many years or decades) is the DigitalCommons@Linfield, which has robust backup and storage capabilities.

Contacts for questions regarding file formats, access, sharing, and storage:

Digital Commons Coordinator (email digitalcommons@linfield.edu; phone 503-883-2263)

ITS Help Desk (email support@linfield.edu; phone 503-883-2553)

Contacts for questions regarding human and non-human subjects:

Institutional Review Board (email klivesa@linfield.edu; phone 503-413-8359)

Animal Care and Use Committee (email lbakner@linfield.edu; phone 503-883-2578)

Thanks to Willamette University for allowing Linfield College to include information from its Data Management Plan website.