All NSF proposals must include a Data Management Plan.  Library & IT staff are available to assist you with this, and as well to offer possible strategies for using Bucknell services for storing and maintaining your data.  

For assistance with your data management plans or to answer specific questions about data management services at Bucknell, please contact Carrie Pirmann, Social Sciences Librarian (carrie.pirmann@bucknell.edu). Library and IT also has a page about Bucknell's Data Management Services.

Your Data Management Plan should describe how the project will conform to relevant funder policies on disseminating and sharing research results, this typically includes:

  • the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials that will be produced during the project
  • 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)
  • policies for access and sharing, including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements
  • policies and provisions for re-using and re-distributing data, and for producing derivatives
  • plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products and for preserving access to them
  • if appropriate, include a statement of institutional procedures and capabilities for data storage and maintenance.

Creating a Data Management PlanTopics to cover in a written plan typically include the following:

  • description of the project: purpose of the research, organizations and staff involved
  • description of data to be collected, method of collection, its nature and format
  • You may find it helpful to consult a further set of questions from MIT. The type and quantity of data produced, the audience, the frequency with with data is changed or updated, and the length of time data will be retained all affect your data plan -- and the degree to which University resources or other data services can contribute to the project.
  • name of the persons responsible for data management, during your research project and over time; how you will ensure adherence to the plan over time
  • explanation of how data will be documented throughout the research project
  • discussion of data quality issues
  • description of your short-term and long-term storage plans, including backup procedures
  • Please refer to Bucknell Data Management Services for some options for long-term data storage.
  • In addition, publishing data via a subject-specific repository or journal publisher Web site may be a good long-term storage strategy for some of your data.  Willamette University provides a nice list of subject-specific repositories that may be of interest.
  • explanation of how you will make the data available for public use and potential secondary uses
    • The Internet provides a variety of formal and ad hoc ways to make data available, including posting online via a project or institutional web site, submitting data to a journal publisher, or depositing data in a subject-specific data repository or local institutional repository.
    • Locally, Bucknell University's institutional repository running on Fedora is a good way to publish, manage, and preserve research data. Fedora is a widely adopted platform for building open digital repositories at colleges and universities.
  • explanation of your plans to preserve the data and ensure a long-lived format
    • File format is a primary factor in one's ability to use data in the future. Certain formats are more likely to be accessible using future software and hardware and more easily migrated to new formats when the need arises.
    • See these general guidelines for file formats from MIT.
  • description of any arrangements that might be needed to protect participant confidentiality or intellectual property; any other legal or ethical considerations

Bucknell Data Management Services

More Resources

NSF Data Management and Sharing Frequently Asked Questions
University of Virginia NSF Data Management Template
MIT Data Management Guidelines
Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age,
-- Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. (Available via Summit)
Digital Imaging: Ethics, University of Arizona
Scholar's Copyright Project
CC0 FAQ - CC0 can be used to explicity make your data available for unlimited sharing and reuse.
The UK Data Archive Guide to Informed Consent

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