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Research Data Management Services

Who requires DMPs?

Data management plans (DMPs) are required by many funding agencies to help promote data sharing and responsible stewardship of research data. While requirements may vary, DMPs are often part of a grant application, so research data management is built into the grant process from the start.

Resources that provide details on funding agencies' requirements include:

What information do DMPs require?

Writing a data management plan requires researchers to ask many of the same questions that we will ask as part of the research data management process. DMPs typically will address:

  • The types of data to be collected.
  • The format that data takes, including what standards are being used.
  • Plans for sharing the data and any policy restrictions that could affect sharing.
  • Plans for storing, archiving, and preserving the data.

DMPTool is a useful website that can guide you through the creation of a data management plan, including templates from various agencies that you can follow to make your own plan. DMPTool is widely used by researchers and agencies across the U.S.

Standard language for DMPs

Many DMPs will ask for a post-grant management plan for preservation of and access to data sets. Schaffer Library can help meet these requirements through our digital repository. Sample grant language is:

Protection of Data: Security and Integrity

All data collected at Union College will be saved on the institution’s file server, which is maintained by the Information Technology Services (ITS) group on campus. This is in addition to having publicly available files on the Library server (see Data Preservation section below). The Union College file server provides a robust set of services: campus ITS has dedicated systems administrators, houses servers physically and virtually, maintains the campus firewall, and performs daily backups; backups are kept in a secure cloud-based platform. The data generated using [name of software] will also be transferred to our local cluster for analysis and storage, and saved on Union College’s file server.

Data Preservation

At the time of publication, all data will be preserved as a publicly available resource on a second independent server site at Union College. The site will be tagged by this NSF proposal title, NSF proposal ID, the name of the PI and keywords. This is a web discoverable server available at and will serve as the primary access point for the data. It runs the Archipelago software suite, and is curated by the Library and maintained by the Metropolitan New York Library Consortium. The Library uses Archipelago as an institutional repository for student and faculty materials, providing deposit of research objects to off-campus servers with stable URLs. Metropolitan New York Library Consortium provides daily backups, server maintenance, security, and storage, as well as such features as embargoes, robust metadata profiles, and enhanced workflow capabilities. Materials uploaded here are sent to Union College’s “bucket” on Amazon Web Services as a set of XML files and objects for additional redundant backups. These automated services help to ensure automated copies of data for disaster recovery.