New template: DOD

As far as we can discern, DMPs are not yet a required component of Department of Defense (DOD) grant applications. But in an effort to address numerous user requests for a DOD template, we went ahead and created one based on the draft DOD Public Access Plan issued in Feb 2015, which states:

“This proposed plan is a draft at this point and has not been adopted as part of the DoD regulatory system or as a definitive course of action.”

The (draft) DOD requirements for DMPs are similar to those issued by NSF, NASA, and others so DMPTool users should note the resemblance among these templates. Another similarity is that the DOD plan focuses heavily on access to data underlying published articles. The plan mentions an implementation date at the end of FY 2016 — we will monitor the situation and update the template accordingly. This also presents an opportunity to monitor the new CENDI.gov inventory of public access plans.

Meanwhile, the DOD encourages pilot projects with voluntary submission of articles and data. The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) will be responsible for key elements of policy implementation and compliance monitoring (see their prototype DOD Public Access Search for articles that mention DOD funding).

Official news remains pending, but for now we’re happy to provide a draft DOD template for conscientious researchers. If anyone has experience with DOD programs asking for DMPs or related developments, please let us know!

New template: NIJ (DOJ)

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). We created a template to assist NIJ funding applicants with preparing a Data Archiving Plan. This is essentially a 1–2 page DMP submitted with grant proposals: 1) to demonstrate your recognition that data sets resulting from your research must be submitted as grant products for archiving and have budgeted accordingly, and 2) to describe how the data will be prepared and documented to allow reproduction of the project’s findings as well as future research that can extend the scientific value of the original project. The policy also notes that “some amount of grant award funds is typically withheld for submission of research data along with the final report and other products/deliverables.”

In most cases, the NIJ requires grantees to deposit their data in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), which is hosted by ICPSR. The template contains links to guidelines, best practices, FAQs, and other helpful information provided by the NACJD and ICPSR, including specific instructions pertaining to common types of social science data and software.

While the NIJ is not subject to the OSTP Memo, the requirement to submit a Data Archiving Plan has been in place since 2014. We finally added a template in response to a user request.

NASA template update & bug fix

NASA template

NASA logoLast week NASA launched a new Research Portal, with consolidated information regarding data management plans and publications. There are no changes to the DMP requirements as the public access plan remains the same. The big news concerns the creation of PubSpace, an open access article repository that is part of the NIH-managed PubMed Central. Beginning with 2016 awards, all NASA-funded authors and co-authors will be required to deposit copies of their peer-reviewed scientific publications and associated data into PubSpace.

Another new resource is the NASA Data Portal, which bears the following description:

“The NASA data catalog serves not as a repository of study data, but as a registry that has information describing the dataset (i.e., metadata) and information about where and how to access the data. The public has access to the catalog and associated data free of charge. NASA will continue to identify additional approaches involving public and private sector entities and will continue efforts to improve public access to research data. NASA will explore the development of a research data commons—a federated system of research databases—along with other departments and agencies for the storage, discoverability, and reuse of data, with a particular focus on making the data underlying the conclusions of federally funded peer-reviewed scientific research publications available for free at the time of publication.”

In response to the announcement, we’ve updated a few guidance links for the NASA template and reached out to the NASA Open Innovation Team—part of the office of the CIO— which appears to be in charge of these new initiatives.

Review workflow: Refinements and fixes

After releasing the review workflow enhancements, we encountered a bug that prevented the system from sending out an email notification if an institution did not create a customized message. Only one user was affected and we have since fixed the issue. We also added a grayed-out default message to the box on the Institution Profile page. We apologize if any emails went awry and invite you to test again and let us know if things are working as expected. You can also check out the updated documentation on the GitHub wiki.

New templates: DOT and NASA

We just added two new funder templates in response to user requests. Both the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) have required a data management plan with grant proposals since 2015, but for various reasons (detailed below) we held off on creating templates.

Next on the list are DOD and NIJ templates. Please let us know if you need a specific template and we’ll bump it to the front of the line.

DOT Template

Via conversations with members of the National Transportation Library (NTL) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), we learned more about the bureaucratic hurdles that stand between an agency issuing a public access plan in compliance with the OSTP memo and being able to enforce that plan legally. Suffice to say, it’s complicated (for the DOT it involves the Paperwork Reduction Act). The DOT lawyers requested that we not provide a public DOT template until they cleared these hurdles, but then they softened their stance on the condition that we include the following disclaimer:

“This tool serves to provide guidance for how to prepare a Data Management Plan (DMP). The output of this tool does not constitute an approved government form. Those preparing DMPs for submission to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) should use their best judgment in determining what information to include. USDOT has identified five (5) broad areas that should be addressed in a DMP, but is not requiring any specific information to be included in any submitted DMP. USDOT may, at its discretion, establish an Office of Management and Budget-approved information collection. Once approved, the information collection will become a form with a control number, and certain DMP elements may become mandatory.”

Throughout these conversations, we gained valuable insight into the vibrant DOT community and became fans of the NTL for providing such helpful guidance (links included in the template). The NTL also hosts a regular webinar series on data management and invited me to give a DMPTool presentation (past recordings available on their website). One noteworthy feature of the DOT plan is that it requires researchers to obtain an ORCID, which will be used in the reporting workflow to identify research outputs. We look forward to working with the NTL to maintain the DOT template in the future!

NASA Template

NASA also seems to be in limbo regarding enforcement of their public access plan. This blog post is instructive and various NASA webpages contain general information about data management plans, often infused with humor, e.g.:

“Remember, this is a directive from the white house and if you are really bad The President will call your dean and shame you. Just kidding, but awardees who do not fulfill the intent of their DMPs may have continuing funds withheld and this may be considered in the evaluation of future proposals, which may be even worse…” (DMP FAQ Roses)

Because we received so many requests for a NASA template, we decided to go ahead and create one with the information at hand (official Public Access Plan), and with the expectation that there will be revisions and updates to come. If you have suggestions of additional resources to include in the NASA template, please let us know.

NIH Policy on Rigor and Reproducibility

You’ve all heard about the reproducibility crisis in science. But you may not be aware of a (relatively) new National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy designed to address the issue. The NIH Policy on Rigor and Reproducibility became effective for proposals received on or after January 25, 2016 and applies to most NIH and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant applications. We just learned about the policy ourselves thanks to the combined efforts of UCSD library and research staff to raise awareness on their campus (and here’s a noteworthy mention in a Nature review of 2015 science news). To aid researchers in meeting the new criteria, UCSD produced this handy guide that we (and they) would like to share with the wider community.

The new policy does not involve any changes to data sharing plans. It is related and important enough, however, that we inserted a statement and link in the “NIH-GEN: Generic” template (Please note the Rigor and Reproducibility requirements that involve updates to grant application instructions and review criteria [but not Data Sharing Plans]).

The policy does involve:

  • Revisions to application guide instructions for preparing your research strategy attachment
  • Use of a new “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment (example from UCSD library website)
  • Additional rigor and transparency questions reviewers will be asked to consider when reviewing applications

These policies are all meant to achieve basically the same goals: to promote openness, transparency, reproducibility, access to, and reuse of the results of scientific research. We’re grateful to the folks at UCSD—Dr. Anita Bandrowski, Ho Jung Yoo, and Reid Otsuji—for helping to consolidate the message and for providing some new educational resources.

New NSF-BIO template

On October 1, 2015, the NSF Directorate of Biological Sciences issued Updated Information about the Data Management Plan Required for Full Proposals. Changes to the guidelines include some reorganization and clarification of the components of the DMP. There is a new section, “Future Proposals,” highlighting that DMP implementation will be considered during evaluation of future proposals. The new guidelines also contain a handy list of data management resources and training opportunities, including links to DataONE, Data Carpentry, and Software Carpentry, as well as mention of services provided by university libraries. According to the NSF Bio Buzz blog, the updated DMP guidelines are part of the newly released Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, which applies to proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016.

As with the previous revision to the NSF-BIO guidelines in 2013, we handled the changes to the template in the DMPTool by deactivating the old one and creating a new template. DMPTool users who created plans using the old template(s) will continue to have full access to those plans. Users creating new NSF-BIO plans will be presented with the new 2015 template.

We will continue monitoring the Bio Buzz blog for future updates.

New DOE “Generic” template

We’ve added a drop-down list for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and created a new “Generic” template. The existing “DOE: Office of Science” template remains the same.

These template changes come in response to the recent release of the agency-wide DOE Policy for Digital Research Data Management, which took effect on October 1, 2015 and applies to all Unclassified and Otherwise Unrestricted Digital Research Data. The suggested elements for data management that were being piloted by the Office of Science will now apply to all DOE-sponsored research programs. Going forward, each sponsoring office must include the requirements for DMPs in all solicitations and invitations for research funding, with details about how and when a DMP should be submitted. The generic template contains updated DOE links that direct researchers to consult the appropriate sponsoring office for specific requirements and guidance. The new links also include a helpful list of Data Management Resources at DOE Scientific User Facilities.

Stay tuned for more template news from the DMPTool as agencies continue to revise existing policies and release new ones.

New template: NIH Genomic Data Sharing

The National Institutes of Health issued new Guidance for Investigators in Developing Genomic Data Sharing Plans along with some helpful sample plans (dated July 14, 2015). The DMPTool team has been monitoring the responses to the OSTP memo by federal agencies, but this alert came to us via the DMP admin email list. Please continue to let us know when you hear anything at all (see the links from a previous post “How you Can Help”)!

We added a National Institutes of Health drop-down list to the DMPTool that contains the new NIH-GDS: Genomic Data Sharing template in addition to the NIH-GEN: Generic template. The basic data management requirements for most NIH grants remain unchanged (pending further notice); researchers can continue to use the generic template for most grants.

The new guidance pertains to those proposing research that will generate large-scale human and non-human genomic data. It describes the type of information that should be provided in a genomic data sharing plan and when the plan should be submitted, including instructions for IRB review, appropriate uses of the data, and suggested/required data repositories. The new guidance is an update to the existing NIH GDS Policy that became effective on January 25, 2015.

New templates for IMLS

The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) changed its data management plan requirements, by expanding the scope to include research data, other digital content, and software tools and applications. Although IMLS uses just one form for these new requirements, we decided to split it into three DMPTool templates. Each of the new DMPTool templates for the IMLS consists of one section on Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights and section(s) specific to the type of digital products from the proposed project.

IMLS changed its requirements in 2014. Unfortunately, it has taken us a while to add them to the DMPTool, as we discussed the best way to represent them. One template or three? Keeping them as one had several disadvantages, with the most significant disadvantage being its length. We also think that most people will need only one of the sections for any given project. Unfortunately, splitting them into three caused problems with the automatic numbering that the DMPTool added to sections of the plans when saved to PDF or RTF. The numbers didn’t match the section numbers in the IMLS requirements. We’ve removed the automatic numbering, and now have released the new templates. We hope these are useful to researchers applying for grants from the IMLS.

Two New Templates: NIFA and NOAA

We have added two new templates to the DMPTool: a data management plan template for the US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) and a data sharing template for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

USDA-NIFA
On February 22, 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the Executive Office of the President issued a memorandum to all agencies to develop guidelines to increase access to the results of publicly-funded scientific research. The USDA recently posted its “Implementation Plan to Increase Public Access to Results of USDA-funded Scientific Research” (November 7, 2014).

One of the USDA’s implementation milestones is a pilot project requiring Data Management Plans (DMPs). NIFA, a federal agency within the USDA was chosen to pilot DMPs. The document entitled “Data Management Plan for NIFA-Funded Research Projects” provides general background and guidance regarding this pilot activity. The information from the DMP 2015 pilot will inform the USDA’s Mainstream implementation (2016-2017) of providing public access to digital scientific data.

NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also released “The NOAA Plan for Increasing Public Access to Research Results” in response to the OSTP memorandum.

The information in this document pertains to both extramural grantees and intramural researchers and contractors. According to the plan “extramural” grantees are only subject to the policy described in section 7.1.1:

This existing policy (“NOAA Data Sharing Policy for Grants and Cooperative Agreements” revised May 29, 2012) requires that proposals from extramural groups include a plan for making data publicly accessible… The policy refers to “data sharing plans,” which are similar to the “data management plans” required by National Science Foundation (NSF) grantees but are less comprehensive than the DM plans required for NOAA intramural projects… The existing policy refers only to data access (“sharing”) and not long- term archiving for potential future users.

The current data sharing policy will be revised during FY2015, a legal review will be performed in FY2016 Q1, and provisions will take effect in FY2016 Q2. A new template for data sharing will be developed by NOAA prior to the requirement effective date. When available, it will be updated in the DMPTool. Until then, researchers should use the NOAA Data Sharing Plan available in the tool.