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Scholarly Communication: Data Management

Data Management Guide

For more information about Data Management and additional resources please see our Data Management Guide


What is a Data Management Plan?

As of January 18, 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all grant proposals include a supplementary Data Management Plan (DMP) of no more than two pages.  Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires researchers to share their data and many granting organizations are considering adopting DMP requirements similar to the NSF.

DMP's outline what a researcher is going to do with their data during and after the research is concluded. DMP's should include a description of:

  1. the types of data that will be created
  2. the standards and metadata that will be used with the data
  3. how these data will be accessed and shared
  4. policies and provisions for the reuse of the data
  5. plans for the long term archiving of the data

For further details about the NSF requirement see the NSF Data Management & Sharing frequently asked questions and NSF program/subject specific guidelines.


Using the DMPTool

Developed by several Universities and Organizations, the DMPTool helps researchers create data management plans for specific funding agencies. Simply click on the "Get Started" button from the DMPTool homepage.You will be taken to the NU Online Passport page. Enter your Northwestern Net ID and password.  From the "My Plans" page, choose the granting agency from the drop down menu and begin building your DMP by answering the questions on each page. You can save and edit the plan.  


Access to Data Storage

Northwestern University provides several data storage options to meet the specific storage needs and data requirements of Northwestern researchers, faculty researchers, and post-doctoral researchers. These services include: Research Data Storage Service, Vault Collaborative, Vault HPC, Vault Supplementary, and Northwestern Box. For more information, visit Northwestern University Information Technology's Research Computing Services website.


Depositing to Data Repositories

Registry of Research Data Repositories (Re3Data)
A collaborative, annotated list of primary research data repositories to help people identify and locate online repositories of research data.

For other lists of data archives and repositories see: 


Social Science Data Services

The Northwestern University Libraries provides additional data sources and support for data management in the social sciences.



If you have any further questions or need assistance, please contact Cunera Buys, Data Management Librarian, via email at or phone at 847-491-2906.


Northwestern University's Research Data: Ownership, Retention and Access Policy
This Policy describes the basis of data ownership and the standards for the collection and retention of data, in addition to requirements for data access.


ARL E-Research
Resources for data planning, management and sharing.


University of Minnesota Libraries
Data management guide


MIT Libraries
Data management guide


University of California at San Diego
Data management guide

Digital Scholarship Services

Northwestern University Libraries


John Dorr
Head, Digital Scholarship Services

Cunera Buys
Data Management Librarian

Josh Honn
Digital Humanities Librarian

Liz Hamilton
Copyright Librarian