Funding Agency and Data Management Guidelines

In 1999 the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 was amended to require Federal awarding agencies to ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act'' (FOIA).

Of course, government funding agencies implement this requirement in various ways. Here are some basic guidelines driven by the major funders. Also, several journals and publishers are recognizing the need to cite data in articles. Here is a list of journals that have open data policies.

See also:

National Science Foundation FAQ's
Example Data Management Plans

Major Funding Agency Data Guidelines

National Science Foundation

NSF data management plan FAQ's
Beginning January 18, 2011, a Data Management Plan (DMP) will be required for all new NSF proposals. Proposals that do not include the requisite DMP will be stopped from submission. Specific guidance are included in the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide. The change upholds the existing guidelines advocating open data, "[NSF] expects PIs to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of the work."

National Institutes of Health

NIH Data Sharing Policy
For most grants over $500,000, a data sharing plan must be included in application and incorporated as a term and condition of the award. Final Research Data "should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data".

NIH Public Access Mandate (for publications): University Libraries have responded by creating a website and services to assist faculty in complying with this requirement to make the research papers open access.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Policy on Releasing and Sharing Data
"The purpose of CDC’s data release/sharing policy is to ensure that (1) CDC routinely provides data to its partners for appropriate public health purposes and (2) all data are released and/or shared as soon as feasible without compromising privacy concerns, federal and state confidentiality concerns, proprietary interests, national security interests, or law enforcement activities."

Department of Energy

DOE Information Management policies
The DOE's office of the Chief Information Officer maintains a list of circulars, policies, and federal regulations related to data and information management. Also, the DOE Standard Research Terms and Conditions limits dissemination of scientific/technical reports if "the report contains patentable material or protected data. In addition, these reports must not contain any limited rights data (proprietary data), classified information, information subject to export control classification, or other information not subject to release."

Additionally, the US Global Change Research program of the DOE Office of Science requests that data of potentially broad use in climate change research and assessments should be archived, when possible, in data repositories for subsequent dissemination. Examples of DOE program guidelines may be found at Biological and Environmental Research Data Management.

Department of Defense

DOD Principles and Operational Parameters of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program

"It is DoD policy under DoD Directive 3200.12 to establish and maintain a coordinated and comprehensive program to document the results and outcome of DoD-sponsored and/or performed research and engineering (R&E) and studies efforts and provide access to those efforts in an effective manner consistent with the DoD mission."

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated
Non-specific to sharing, rather, ensures "a basic standard of quality, including objectivity, utility, and integrity".


NASA Earth Science Statement on Data Management
"The data collected by NASA represent a significant public investment in research. NASA holds these data in a public trust to promote comprehensive, long-term Earth science research. Consequently, NASA developed policy consistent with existing international polices to maximize access to data and to keep user costs as low as possible. These policies apply to all data archived, maintained, distributed or produced by NASA data systems."

See example NASA Mission project data management plans

National Endowment for the Humanities

The Office of Digital Humanities of NEH will begin requiring data management plans to accompany all grant applications sometime in 2011. "You'll note that we have aligned our data management requirements with those of the National Science Foundation to enable you to take advantage of data management resources that your institution may have already developed for applying to the NSF. Please check out the guidelines for more information on this. "

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NIST Guidelines, Information Quality Standards, and Administration Mechanism
"Data release: Dissemination of data either for public use or through an ad hoc request that results in the data steward no longer controlling the data. "

United States Department of Agriculture

USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Service (CSREES)
CSREES requires all funded research data to be submitted into the public domain without restriction citing that "Pre-publication release of genome sequence data has been of tremendous benefit to the scientific research community and CSREES strives to ensure that such rapid release of sequence data continues.... There should be no restrictions on the use of the genomic sequence data, but the best interests of the community are served when all act responsibly to promote the highest standards of respect for the scientific contributions of others. Investigators are also encouraged to collaborate and make information available via the relevant worldwide web sites."
They do make some exceptions to allow for patent applications, but require that the terms of any usage agreements should be stated clearly in the application or revisions prior to funding."

United States Department of Education

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) data sharing policy.
"The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) expressed its commitment to advancing education research through the sharing of scientific data collected through its grant-funded research programs. The purpose of this data sharing implementation guide is to describe how this policy will be implemented and to provide guidance to grant applicants."

See a full list of government funding agencies and search their current opportunities at

DMP Tool

The DMPTool gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create a DMP using this web-based generator. Log in with your x500 to save your plans and get UMN-specific resources.

See an example plan generated by the tool.