NSF Data Management Plan (DMP) Guide: Overview

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About This Guide

This guide is intended to assist researchers, principal investigators, grant administrators, support staff, and other members of the Virginia Tech community who need to prepare a data management plan in compliance with NSF requirements.

Data Management Plan

What Is a Data Management Plan?

Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document that specifies your plans for managing your data for a research project. This includes details such as file naming conventions, metadata standards, storage space, security and back-up. In addition, you will understand how you will work with others and share files, and what you will do with the data over the medium or long term. 

Why Is It Important to Properly Manage Your Data?

By managing your data properly you can:

  • Meet funder requirements;
  • Maintain data integrity by ensuring that research data are accurate, complete, and reliable;
  • Save time by preventing duplication of effort and increasing research efficiency;
  • Enhance data security and minimize risk of data loss; and,
  • Increase your research impact by ensuring that your data will be accessible and usable by others.

Related LibGuides

Virginia Tech University Libraries also provide additional guidance and resources for data management with a different focus.

How We Can Help

To ensure that all NSF proposals coming out of Virginia Tech meet the data management plan requirements, VT researchers are encouraged to consult with librarians in the University Libraries' Data Curation Unit. Expert guidance on developing data management plans starts by contacting us at dataservices@vt.edu:

We are happy to answer questions about data management and assist with tailoring DMPs for specific research projects which may improve the competitiveness of a proposal. We are willing to provide constructive feedback either through the DMPTool review functionality or in-person.