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NSF Data Management Plans: Sharing & Access

DMP Sharing and Access Guidelines

The principle reason that the NSF requires a data management plan is for you to explain how you will share your data with non-group members once the project has been completed. 

  • How will you make the data available (e.g. on a web page, by email request, in an open-access repository, etc.)? What is the process for someone to gain access to the data? (Avenues such as an institutional or subject repository will ensure access to the data even after the lifetime of the project).
  • When will you make it available? How long will you retain the right to use the data before making it available for wider distribution? Are there any embargo periods? If so, provide details about the reasons for the delay (e.g. publisher, political, commercial, or patent reasons).
  • Is your data of a sensitive nature? Are there ethical or privacy issues (e.g. human subject concerns, potential patentability, classified information, etc.)? If so, how will you manage and control access to the data?
  • Who will hold the intellectual property rights to the data and how might this affect access?

Sample Language for Digital DU

Below is some sample language that you could include in your DMP if you are using Digital DU to archive and preserve your data. Feel free to edit or modify as appropriate.

"In order to increase public access to the funded research, data will be deposited in Digital DU, a standards-based digital repository operated by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries. This repository provides long-term management, preservation, and open access to the digital assets and scholarly output of the university. The repository uses MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema) to describe digital objects in a standardized manner; this will increase the discoverability and potential re-use of the data."

Digital DU Requirements

Not all data is appropriate to submit to Digital DU. If your data meets the following requirements, Digital DU could be a good resource to use for preserving and sharing your research data.

1.) All data deposited in Digital DU will be completely open access

Digital DU does not provide an authentication mechanism; if you deposit your dataset here, it will be freely available to everyone

2.) Deposited data must be the final version of the dataset

Digital DU is not a platform that allows data retrieval, data editing, data re-uploading, or data versioning via multiple data creators. If you choose to make your dataset available here, it needs to be the final version.

3.) Digital DU cannot support extremely large datasets (e.g. terabytes of data). 

Contact Digital DU with the size specifications of your dataset to learn if it will be able to be deposited.

4.) Depositing supported data formats will ensure migration.

Digital DU is content agnostic, meaning that it is designed to hold almost any kind of digital file. That being said, it supports the use of sustainable file types in order to encourage the preservation of records for the future. Currently the file types that Digital DU supports are:


Text Files
.xls, .xslx, .ppt, .pps, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .xml,

Image Files
.gif, .jpeg,.jpg, .jp2, .png, .psd, .tiff, .tif,

Audio and Video
.mp3, .wav, .mp4, .mov, .swf, and .wmv.

Science & Engineering Librarian

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Call (303) 871-2905 for a research consultation appointment.