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NSF Data Management Plan

There are eight highly recommended elements to a NSF Data Management Plan. The list and example language are:

Data description

This project will produce public-use nationally representative survey data for the state of Texas covering Texans' social backgrounds, social and political values, opinions on questions of public policy and participation in social lift. Experiments will be performed at UT Dallas, and data will be maintained and backed up there.

Access and sharing

The PI will share the results of the activity with other researchers within a reasonable time in order to conform to the NSF policy on dissemination and sharing of research results. The public release of data will be at the earliest reasonable time. As soon as validating the data extracted from the proposed activity, the results will be accessible immediately through publications, seminars, and via the web. Specifically, the proposed activity findings will be promptly presented in local, regional, national and international conferences.

The PI will publish the outcome of the investigation in journal papers. Graduate theses will be published from the results of the proposed activity, which will be accessible to the public. To ensure the quality of the data, the PI plans to release any and all data only after the peer review process.


Metadata will be tagged in XML using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) format. The codebook will contain information on study design, sampling methodology, fieldwork, variable-level detail, and all the information necessary for a secondary analyst to use the data accurately and effectively.

Intellectual property rights

Any research that produces data that may produce security or privacy concerns will be reviewed by the UT Dallas Office of Research to ensure proper safety. With regard to intellectual property issues, UT Dallas will follow the Intellectual Property Policy (UTDPP1002) and the Office of Technology Commercialization where appropriate for patents, etc.


Ethics and privacy

Any research that produces data that may produce security or privacy concerns will be reviewed by the UT Dallas Office of Research to ensure proper safety.


The data will be distributed in several widely used formats, including ASCII, tab-delimited, SAS, SPAA and Stata. Documentation will be provided as PDF. Data will be stored as ASCII and preserved using XML and PDF/A.

Period of data retention

No specific limit is envisioned at this time for the length of data retention after public release of the research outcomes. The raw experimental and simulation data are typically saved on the PI's server, which is managed by the UTD-IT department. This data will be kept permanently in these servers. The numerical data that is used for the generation of plots, figures, and tables will be retained for at least three years subsequent to the termination of the grant or three years subsequent to the public release, whichever is later.

Storage and backup

The research data will be archived in the digital format by the UT Dallas Information Securities department on the university fileservers, or in fileservers located PI's laboratory that operate under the supervision of Information Securities. This data storage will be performed in a safe and effective manner, with sufficient provisions for backup and recovery in case of equipment failure.