Data Management – Funder Requirements

In order to promote open access to research data, many funding agencies require research data produced as part of a funded project to be made publicly available.

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). Data management planning and procedural requirements for several funding agencies are provided here and here.

Included here are the available guidelines of major funding agencies.

National Science Foundation

NSF data management plan guidance

  • 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.”

United States Department of Agriculture

USDA Scientific Integrity Policy Departmental Regulation ‘DR 1074-001’ > USDA Scientific Integrity Policy Handbook; Section 2. Use of Scientific Information:

  • “It is USDA policy, when considering scientific or technological information in deriving policy decisions, to ensure the quality, accuracy and transparency of that information, including:
3) Make scientific findings or conclusions considered or relied on in policy decisions publicly available online and in open formats, to the extent practicable, consistent with the Administration’s Open Government Initiative, the Freedom of Information Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and other applicable statutes, regulations or document handling procedures and policies. Include information on the specific approach, data and models used to develop such scientific conclusions…”


USDA Forest Service

There is no documentation readily available that descibes USDA FS guidelines on data management plans, data sharing requirements, etc. However, federal agenices have a strong committment to sharing data with the public, and the FS is no exception. Here are some resources that may be helpful in figuring out where to share your data, how to format the metadata, etc. If you find more resources that should be listed here, please contact us.

  • Forest Inventory & Analysis and Data Archive: links to the USFS forest inventory, national data archive, and all of the regional data archives. See the national research and development archive for information about how to format your data and metadata for deposit.
  • The USDA Forest Service Information Resources Strategic Framework provides agency-wide context on the FS committment to stewardship of information and resources for the purpose of sharing knowledge with the public.
  • The Forest Service Metadata Users Guide has everything that you need to know for gathering, creating, and publishing metadata in the FGDC standard.


USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Research Terms and Conditions (PDF) regarding genome sequence data (CREES)

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): Biomedical and Translational Medicine Librarian Jennifer Lyon has created a guide to assist faculty in complying with this requirement to make the research papers open access.
  • See more information about NIH data sharing here.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

  • NOAA Environmental Data Management Wiki: includes procedural directives, metadata standards, a DMP repository, information on recent projects and workshops, and recent news.
  • Data Sharing Policy for Grants and Cooperative Agreements Procedural Directive: the official download page for the NOAA Data Sharing Policy for Grants and Cooperative Agreements Procedural Directive, which was first approved by NOAA’s Environmental Data Management Committee (EDMC) on October 12, 2011.

US Gelogical Survey

The USGS is currently working toward agency-wide guidelines on data management plans and data sharing requirements. In the mean time, please see the following resources:


National Endowment for the Humanities

Data Management Plans for NEH Office of Digital Humanities Proposals and Awards (PDF)

  • Applicants should prepare a data management plan for their project. The plan should describe how the project team will manage and disseminate data generated or collected by the project. For example, projects in this category may generate data such as software code, algorithms, digital tools, reports, articles, research notes, or websites. NEH realizes that many institutions apply to both NEH and NSF, so it has made its data management plan requirement identical to NSF’s.

Department of Defense

See this memo from the Under Secretary of Defense (July 2014) regarding public access to DoD research.

Principles and Operational Parameters of the DoD Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP): General Processes Document (2014)

  • “This volume describes the principles, concepts, and procedural functions to ensure that DoD scientific and technical information (STI) is appropriately managed to enable scientific knowledge and technological innovations to be fully accessible to authorized recipients…Scientific findings are communicated through various media, including textual, multimedia, audiovisual, and digital.
    Findings are expressed in a range of products, such as technical reports, conference papers and presentations, briefing charts, theses and dissertations, scientific and technical computer software, journal articles, workshop reports, program documents, patents, and scientific research datasets.”
  • See the DoD Unified Research & Engineering Database (URED)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Earth Science Data & Information Policy

  • “NASA promotes the full and open sharing of all data with the research and applications communities, private industry, academia, and the general public. The greater the availability of the data, the more quickly and effectively the user communities can utilize the information to address basic Earth science questions and provide the basis for developing innovative practical applications to benefit the general public.”

NASA ROSES 2014 NRA – full announcement (FULL ROSES 2014 as amended and clarified (.PDF, approximately 9 MB).

  • Page 110: “2.2.8 Data Policy and Data Management Plan Requirements
    All data and information acquired and data products produced under the NASA CMS program must be made publicly available, with no period of exclusive use, in compliance with NASA’s Earth Science data policy. Proposals must include a data management plan of no more than two pages that addresses the dissemination and sharing of research results, how data and information will be provided, and the proposer’s compliance with the NASA Earth Science data policy. The data management plan should include the types of data and data products, algorithms, models and model outputs, or other materials to be produced in the course of the project; the standards to be used for data and metadata formats; the types of errors and uncertainties to be quantified and how they will be reported; and plans for providing access to and/or archiving the data and other research products. … The data management plan must be included within the 15-page limit for the Scientific/Technical/Management section of the proposal.”

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.”

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.”

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”.

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. “

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