The Division of Chemistry recognizes that in most cases, principal investigators will publish data (and relevant supplementary information) in peer-reviewed journal articles within a reasonable time, and that the chemistry research community maintains a significant number of databases that provide for access to data. Such disclosure of data meets the majority of needs for robust and open scientific discourse. The purpose of the Data Management Plan is to provide a means for highlighting the existing practices of the principal investigator’s laboratory and larger research community, and to encourage innovations that, where appropriate and practical, take advantage of emerging information technologies and cyber-infrastructure.
In general, a Data Management plan will describe the nature of the data or products generated by the research, and how these will be managed with regard to access, sharing and archiving. The plan should not be used to circumvent the 15-page Project Description limitation in a proposal. The Data Management plan will be subject to peer review, and proposals without such plan will be returned without review. In certain special cases, the Data Management plan may contain a statement such as “a data management plan is not relevant to the proposed activities.” Such exemptions will be explicitly noted in the Program Description or solicitation. Finally, principal investigators and their institutions should be aware of the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act (35 U.S.C. § 200-212, implemented under C.F.R. 401), which afford the institution certain rights to the intellectual property, inventions, and other products derived from federally funded research.
The following five items are listed in the same order as those in the guidelines of the revised PAPPG, and have been paraphrased to guide the Chemistry community. They are not intended to supplant the guidance given in the PAPPG.
- Products of the Research. Describe the types of data and products that will be generated in the research, for example numerical data on chemical systems such as spectra, diffraction patterns, physical properties, time-dependent information on chemical and physical processes, theoretical formalisms, computational strategies, final or intermediate numerical results from theoretical calculations, software, and curriculum materials.
- Data Format. Describe the format in which the data or products are stored (e.g., hardcopy notebook and/or instrument outputs, ASCII, html, jpeg or other formats). Where data are stored in unusual or not generally accessible formats, explain how the data may be converted to a more accessible format or otherwise made available to interested parties. You may also comment on the current or anticipated need for interested parties outside of your laboratory to access your primary data.
- Access to Data and Data Sharing Practices and Policies. “Access to data” refers to data made accessible without explicit request from the interested party, for example those posted on a website or made available to a public database. Describe your plans, if any, for providing such general access to data, including websites maintained by your research group, and direct contributions to public databases (e.g., the Protein Data Bank, Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Inorganic Crystal Structure Database in Karlsruhe, Zeolite Structure Database). Also note if you submit your data in the form of tables, graphs, computer code or other format to the supplementary materials sections of peer-reviewed journals. Describe your practice or policies regarding the release of data for access, for example whether data are posted before or after formal publication. Finally, note as well any anticipated inclusion of your data into databases that mine the published literature (e.g., PubChem, NIST Chemistry WebBook). “Data sharing” refers to the release of data in response to a specific request from an interested party. Describe your policies for data sharing, including where applicable provisions for protection of privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property, national security, or other rights or requirements.
- Archiving of Data. Describe how data will be archived and how preservation of access will be handled. For example, will hardcopy notebooks, instrument outputs, and physical samples be stored in a location where there are safeguards against fire or water damage? Is there a plan to transfer digitized information to new storage media or devices as technological standards or practices change? Will there be an easily accessible index that documents where all archived data are stored and how they can be accessed?