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Data Management Plan (DMP) Guide

Learn how to write a data management plan!

U.S. Department of Agriculture DMPs

Note: Check your solicitation/announcement for DMP/data requirements.

Highlights of USDA's Public Access Plan

  • New extramural and intramural research programs require DMPs.
    • "These data management plans will, at a minimum, describe how the researcher(s) will provide for long-term preservation of, and access to, the digital scientific data created by the proposed study." (pg 18). 
    • Researchers can also explain in the DMP why long-term preservation is not applicable.
    • Data management plans should include clear plans for sharing research data (pg 19).
  • All USDA-funded researchers will be required to comply with USDA’s policy for making the digital data underlying the conclusions of peer-reviewed scientific research publications freely available in public repositories in machine readable formats (pg 19).

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


  • Data (digital and non-digital) are the ultimate outputs of most research investments from NIFA.
  • A DMP should be a core component of a research planning process and should contain adequate information for successful implementation.
  • Limitations on data sharing should be articulated and justified in the DMP. 


  • The data management plan should be, at maximum, 2 pages.
  • If the project does not produce data a statement that no data is collected is acceptable (for example: meetings with no proceedings). 
  • The following components should be included in the DMP (see Data Management Plan for NIFA-Funded Research Projects for details):
    1. Expected data type
    2. Data format
    3. Data storage and preservation
    4. Data sharing and public access
    5. Roles and responsibilities
    6. Monitoring and reporting

More information

  • PIs are expected to submit unique biological information (such as DNA sequences or crystallographic coordinates) to the appropriate data bank so the scientific community can access them. These resources need to be accompanied by documentation (metadata) that describes their nature, quality, etc. (pg 81 - Policy Guide)
  • Recipients of NIFA funds have a responsibility to protect sensitive and confidential data as part of proper stewardship of federally funded research (pg 69 - Policy Guide). 
  • Grantees generally own the rights in data resulting from a grant-supported project but this may differ based on special terms and conditions or alternative rights. These rights also extend to students, fellows and trainees working under the award (pg 79 - Policy Guide).

Last updated: 2016-06-03 MNO

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