Data management plans

Some funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, require that grant applications include a data management plan. The library can provide support and advice on standards for metadata, storage repositories, and other data management issues.

Elements of a data management plan

Generally, data management plans include a description of the data that will be generated by your research and a plan for storing and providing access to the data.

The NSF provides the following list of items that may be included in a data management plan:

  1. The types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

Lafayette Digital Repository

Lafayette faculty who are looking for a place to archive data of long-term scholarly value may want to consider using the Lafayette Digital Repository, an online archive designed to preserve and make accessible materials from Lafayette College, including raw data and published findings.

The following language describing the digital repository may be useful for including in digital management plans:

"Lafayette College maintains a secure institutional repository that provides open access to material that is of long-term value to the academic community. The Lafayette Digital Repository ( makes use of the Open Source DSpace software package and is installed on a high-availability server collaboratively maintained by Lafayette College Libraries and Information Technology Services. LDR submissions are archived on a redundant, high-availability storage area network, with nightly disk-based backups, are cataloged using the Dublin Core metadata format, given durable URLs that do not change with system upgrades, and are indexed by all major internet search engines."

For additional information about the Lafayette Digital Repository, contact Eric Luhrs, Head of Digital Scholarship Services.

Additional resources on writing a data management plan

Additional resources for selecting a data digital repository

For more information

For additional information about how the library can support your data management plan, contact Terese Heidenwolf, Director for Research & Instructional Services.