Using Data Management Plans to Explore Variability in Research Data Management Practices Across Domains

  • Susan Wells Parham Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Jake Carlson
  • Patricia Hswe Pennsylvania State University
  • Brian Westra University of Oregon
  • Amanda Whitmire Stanford University


This paper describes an investigation into how researchers in different fields are interpreting and responding to the U.S. National Science Foundation’s data management plan (DMP) requirement. As documents written by the researchers themselves, DMPs can provide insight into researchers’ understanding of the potential value of their data to others; the environment in which their data are developed and prepared; and their willingness and ability to ensure the data are available to others now and in the long-term. With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the authors conducted a content analysis of DMPs generated at their respective institutions using a shared rubric. By developing and testing a rubric designed to understand and evaluate the content of DMPs, the authors intend to develop a more complete understanding, at a larger scale, of how researchers plan for managing, sharing, and archiving their data.


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