As appeared in the DigitalKoans Blog: The National Science
Foundation has released its revised NSF Data Sharing Policy. As of January 18,
2011, NSF proposals must include a two-page (or less) "Data Management
Plan" in accordance with the Grant Proposal Guide, chapter
II.C.2.j (see below excerpt).
Here's an excerpt from the Award and Administration Guide, chapter VI.D.4:
b. Investigators are expected to share with other
researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the
primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials
created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are
expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing. Privileged or confidential
information should be released only in a form that protects the privacy of
individuals and subjects involved. General adjustments and, where essential,
exceptions to this sharing expectation may be specified by the funding NSF
Program or Division/Office for a particular field or discipline to safeguard
the rights of individuals and subjects, the validity of results, or the
integrity of collections or to accommodate the legitimate interest of investigators.
A grantee or investigator also may request a particular adjustment or exception
from the cognizant NSF Program Officer.
c. Investigators and grantees are encouraged to share
software and inventions created under the grant or otherwise make them or their
products widely available and usable.
d. NSF normally allows grantees to retain principal legal
rights to intellectual property developed under NSF grants to provide
incentives for development and dissemination of inventions, software and
publications that can enhance their usefulness, accessibility and upkeep. Such
incentives do not, however, reduce the responsibility that investigators and
organizations have as members of the scientific and engineering community, to
make results, data and collections available to other researchers.
Here's an excerpt from the Grant Proposal Guide, chapter II.C.2.j:
Plans for data management and sharing of the products of
research. Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two
pages labeled "Data Management Plan". This supplement should describe
how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of
research results (see AAG Chapter VI.D.4), and may include:
the types of data, samples, physical collections, software,
curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the
the standards to be used for data and metadata format and
content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should
be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
policies for access and sharing including provisions for
appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual
property, or other rights or requirements;
policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the
production of derivatives; and
plans for archiving data, samples, and other research
products, and for preservation of access to them.
A May 2010 NSF press release ("Scientists Seeking NSF Funding Will Soon Be Required to
Submit Data Management Plans") discussed the background for the
"Science is becoming data-intensive and
collaborative," noted Ed Seidel, acting assistant director for NSF's
Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate. "Researchers from numerous
disciplines need to work together to attack complex problems; openly sharing
data will pave the way for researchers to communicate and collaborate more
"This is the first step in what will be a more
comprehensive approach to data policy," added Cora Marrett, NSF acting
deputy director. "It will address the need for data from publicly-funded research
to be made public."