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Scholarly Communications Services for Researchers

Supporting the creation, evaluation, dissemination, and preservation of the University's scholarly output

Research Data Management & Curation

The National Science Foundation and many other federal and private funding agencies have introduced a requirement that all grant applications include a data management plan. These agencies have recognized that the data they fund has significant value to the global scholarly and research community, and needs to be stored long-term and be made discoverable by those with an interest in that data.

Benefits of Data Management

  • Meet grant requirements: Many funding agencies now require that researchers preserve any data they collect during a research project in a repository or archive.
  • Increase research efficiency: Documenting data throughout the research process ensures that the researcher and others will be able to understand and use collected data in the future. Following a data management plan will also ensure the integrity and proper description of the data by all lab workers, and ease new lab workers into the process by providing a concrete framework for handling data.
  • Increase the visibility and impact of research: Making data available to other researchers through widely-searched repositories can help increase the reach of research data and demonstrate continued use of the data and relevance of the research.
  • Preserve data: Entrusting the preservation of research data to an appropriate repository helps ensure that research data and its description are maintained in perpetuity, and will continue to be available to the data creator and other researchers. Doing so safeguards investments of time and resources and preserves a researcher’s unique contribution to research.
  • Facilitate new discoveries: Enabling other researchers to use research data reinforces open scientific inquiry and may lead to new and unanticipated discoveries. Doing so also prevents duplication of effort by enabling others to use existing data rather than trying to gather the data themselves.
  • Saves the researcher time (and potentially money): Enabling a repository to house and disseminate data allows the researcher to focus on their project rather than responding requests or worrying about data that may be housed on a personal or departmental web site.

What is a Data Management Plan (DMP)?

A data management plan is a set of documents that outline what will be done with data collected during and after the completion of a research project. Many funding agencies require the development of DMP for research. These funders will have specific requirements for the contents of the DMP.

A DMP frequently contains the following information:

  • Roles and responsibilities: who will be involved in collecting, preserving, and sharing research data and what their specific duties will be.
  • Types of data: what data will be collected and analyzed.
  • Metadata: how the data will be described. Access, sharing, and privacy: who can access the data and how sensitive information will be protected during research.
  • Media for storage during the research process: how will a researcher ensure that their data is stored safely and securely.
  • Storage and dissemination after the grant: how will the researcher preserve their data and share it with future researchers.
  • Reuse and redistribution: policies for sharing, reuse, and public access.

Research Data Management Services at Bluford Library

  • Drafting data management plans: Bluford Library can help researchers navigate DMP Tool, a free web-based tool that helps researchers create a data management plan based on funding agency guidelines.
  • Choosing a repository: Bluford Library can help researchers select an appropriate data repository based on their field, types of data, and amount of data.
  • Data storage: depending on type and size, we are able to store some data sets in the institutional repository, Aggie Digital Collections and Scholarship.

Research Data Services Contact

For assistance with Research Data Services (RDS), please contact David Rachlin, STEM Librarian/Assistant Professor, at