NSF’s EHR Issues Guidance on Data Management Plans to Support Data Sharing in Education Research
NSF’s EHR Issues Guidance on Data Management Plans to Support Data Sharing in Education Research
March 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on March 6 that the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) had issued new guidance for grant applicants for including data management plans in their proposals. The guidance is intended to support research transparency and data sharing in education research.

NSF-funded “[r]esearchers should indicate how they plan to share data, products and methods so that other investigators can understand, validate and replicate research findings,” according to NSF’s announcement.

“Education research has been at the forefront of data sharing and efforts to encourage data use and research transparency,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “Data and data-related products are significant contributions in their own right that can add importantly to building cumulative knowledge.”

“We are pleased to see EHR encouraging their grant applicants to consider data sharing and data access at the outset of a project so that research is undertaken mindful of the value to investigators and to the research community of making clear and accessible how the work was done and allowing for replication studies or new analysis,” said Levine.

EHR provides seven principles for data management plans. Among them:

  • Access and sharing of data and products should reflect appropriate protections for IRB, privacy, confidentiality, data security, and intellectual property;

  • Unless otherwise restricted by policy or regulation, access to data and products should be provided, and data and the products of research shared, as soon as is reasonably possible;
  • Any guidelines for re-use, re-distribution, or production of derivatives should be specified.

The guidance also includes the types of information that should be specified in a data management plan, such as how these data or products are to be stored, preserved, and shared; what data formats will be used; and how long access to data and products, and sharing of data or products, will be maintained after the life of the project, and how any associated costs will be covered and by whom.

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See also:

AERA Code of Ethics