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Basic research Data Management

Basic assistance for those encounting data management planning for the first time

NSF Data Management Plan Resources

MOST if not all international grant require some from of data management plan. Its is important for South African researchers not to gloss over this section as it might make there grant internationally less competitive than researcher in other countries where data management planning is more routinely required. 


As of January 18, 2011, the National Science Foundation requires all proposals to include a data management plan as a supplementary document. This document must be no longer than two pages in length (although investigators may use a portion of the 15-page project description for a data management plan longer than two pages) and should describe how the proposed project will conform with NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.

Several NSF Divisions and Directorates have specific requirements for data management plans, including:

Engineering Directorate (ENG)

Directorate-wide Guidance

Geological Sciences Directorate (GEO)

Division of Earth Sciences 
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program 
Division of Ocean Sciences

Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS)

Division of Astronomical Sciences 
Division of Chemistry 
Division of Materials Research 
Division of Mathematical Sciences 
Division of Physics

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) 
Directorate-wide Guidance

Be sure to carefully review program solicitations or individual NSF Division and Directorate web pages for additional information.

In England

The Welcome Trust and Medical Research Council  have asked for much higher and more formal levels of research data management including the writing of plans.

In South Africa

Look at the page on NRF grant guidance


 CHECK YOUR GRANT APPLICATION,  you may well find that things like data quality assurance, data security and so on are embedded, the data management plan is a good way of answering those questions.

Data services

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Salome Potgieter
Engineering Library (Chamber of Mines Building)