Quality evaluation of data management plans at a research university


With the emergence of the National Science Foundation (NSF) requirement for data management plans (DMPs), academic librarians have increasingly aided researchers in developing DMPs and disseminating research data. To determine the overall quality of DMPs at Wayne State University, the Library System’s Research Data Services (RDS) team evaluated the content of 119 DMPs from NSF grant proposals submitted between 2012 and 2014. The results of our content analysis indicate that, while most researchers understand the need to share data, many DMPs fail to adequately describe the data generated by the project, how data will be managed during the project, or how data will be preserved and shared after the completion of the project. Our results also show that DMP deficiencies vary across academic units, suggesting the need for differentiated outreach services to improve the strength of DMPs in future NSF grant proposals.



Data management plans, National Science Foundation


Van Loon, J. E., Akers, K. G., Hudson, C., & Sarkozy, A. (2017). Quality evaluation of data management plans at a research university. IFLA Journal, 43(1). doi: 10.1177/0340035216682041