Yes, the title is an actual answer to the question of “What if I can’t do what I originally promised to do in my DMP [data management plan]?” While it is followed by the phrase “Just kidding”, it goes on to state that “awardees who do not fulfill the intent of their DMPs may have continuing funds withheld and this may be considered in the evaluation of future proposals”. So are they kidding about that too? That was my question in a recent blog, entitled “Does the Data Management Plan Matter?”
We’ve recently gotten some answers to that question. For those of you just starting to explore this topic, the Data Management Plan (DMP) that I’m referring to is the one that many federal funding agencies have started to require as part of their grant application process. The following four items seem to indicate that the DMP is pretty important:
1) The NEH just released all of the Data Management Plans from successful grant applications to the Digital Humanities Start-Up, Digital Humanities Implementation, and/or Digging into Data grant programs. This comes in response to a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. They note that as more resources to researchers have become available, “the quality and the importance of the plans has generally increased”.
2) Data librarians have observed more DMP Requests For Information from grant review panels, so it’s not much of a surprise that we’re starting to hear about grant rejections due to inadequate DMPs. As Michael Jackson, NSF Antarctic Research and Logistics Integration Program Manager, noted at a recent conference “If you don’t put data into a repository per your data plan, you don’t get funded again…The other way of compliance is, as I mentioned, is the peer review process where your, your, your research colleagues will actually, you know, look at how you are doing things, they know who in the community is and isn’t sharing data freely, and they will make sure through the comment process of the proposal that it’s, that you are called out, or that you are also given kudos if you are particularly good at collaborating” (about 45 minutes into the video).
3) In another effort to support researchers in their compliance with DMP expectations, the NSF just announced more than $5 million towards the creation of Big Data Regional Hubs. Our hub covers 12 states and will be coordinated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
4) Do you find all this talk about the data sharing component of a DMP stressful? You are not alone! In fact, we have a new phrase to describe this: data tension, or the “Human tension and/or stress related to the sharing or release of data resulting from concerns about: (a) unknowns about users, uses, and what users will learn from the data before the data producers themselves learn it; (b) what users will learn from the data; (c) data quality; (d) data traceability (or lack thereof); (e) potential requests for additional documentation and metadata; (f) potential questions concerning methodology used to produce the data; (g) lack of resources to support data sharing; (h) governance; (i) social or political interests and impact; (j) data ownership; (k) the desire to ‘hold back’ data to give researchers the time to publish articles based on those data; and/or (l) perceived risk of data misuse or misinterpretation.”
If you are writing a Data Management Plan, and would like some assistance, try out the DMPTool.org, or contact OSU’s Data Management Services Librarian, Amanda Rinehart, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in learning more about these changing expectations and OSU resources, please attend:
Federal Public Access Plans: Information for Researchers (Panel Discussion)
Who: OSU faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduates
When: Thursday, November 19, 1:00-2:30pm
Where: Thompson Library, Room 165
Wondering how federal agency public access requirements will impact your work as an Ohio State researcher? Curious about the services offered across the university to assist researchers in meeting these new expectations? Join a panel of experts to learn more about how to ensure compliance with new and existing public access policies and who can help. These topics and your questions will be discussed by the following panel:
Sandra Enimil, Head of the Copyright Resources Center, University Libraries
Karla Gengler-Nowak, Grants & Contracts Administrator, College of Optometry
Aimee Nielsen-Link, Director, Health Sciences Office, Office of Sponsored Programs
Amanda Rinehart, Data Management Services Librarian, University Libraries
Maureen Walsh, Institutional Repository Services Librarian, University Libraries