DOE Policy for Digital Research Data Management: FAQs

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Requirements, Guidance, and FAQs specific to the sponsoring DOE office can be found under the Requirements and Guidance from DOE Sponsoring Offices. ​

  1. When will the Department begin to require Data Management Plans? 
    All DOE solicitations and invitations for research funding issued after October 1, 2015 will include DMP requirements.  Some DOE sponsoring research offices have already begun requiring DMPs as part of research proposals.
     
  2. Will a proposal be funded if it does not include a Data Management Plan?
    In the majority of cases, a DMP will be required as part of the research proposal.  In this case, the Department of Energy reserves the right to reject, without merit review, any proposal that does not include a DMP.  In some cases, the DMP will not be required until later in the selection and procurement process.   Please consult the relevant requirements of the funding solicitation or contact the cognizant sponsoring research office for details including when the DMP will be required.
     
  3. Will a proposal be funded if the DMP does not follow the Requirements  of the sponsoring research office?
    Each sponsoring research office reserves the right not to select a proposal for funding if the DMP fails to comply with the Department’s and the office’s requirements.
     
  4. I am a DOE laboratory employee requesting research funding from the Department of Energy that is not connected to any Funding Opportunity Announcement. Do I need to submit a DMP?
    Yes.
     
  5. I am applying for time at one of the Department of Energy user facilities. Do I need to submit a DMP with my proposal to the facility?
    No. This policy only applies to proposals for research funding submitted directly to the Department and does not apply to proposals to use DOE User Facilities or other DOE laboratory infrastructure or services. Any requirements or guidance related to your proposal will be issued by that facility.
     
  6. I am applying for a DOE SBIR award. Do I need to submit a DMP?
    Yes. Please see specific program guidance on how to prepare a DMP associated with an SBIR or STTR application. DMP requirements for the ARPA-E SBIR and STTR programs will be detailed in the relevant solicitation.

What to include in a DMP

  1. What should I include in the Data Management Plan I submit with my research proposal?
    A list of suggested elements for a DMP can be found in Suggested Elements for a Data Management Plan.
     
  2. Part or all of my proposed research is considered Human Subjects Research (HSR), which includes research involving Personally Identifiable Information (PII). What special requirements apply to the DMP I submit with this proposal?
    For proposals with HSR, including research involving PII, an appropriate research protocol will need to be approved by the appropriate DOE Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an external IRB with an approved federal wide assurance. Follow the instructions of the research solicitation to determine whether or not the data management aspects of this protocol should be included in the DMP. At a minimum, the DMP should acknowledge the type of HSR and/or PII involved and give a projected timeline for IRB approval. Information regarding DOE requirements for HSR and research involving PII, including how to obtain IRB approval, can be found here.
     
  3. What kind of data should be considered in the DMP? Should the DMP cover raw data, processed data, analyzed data, software, etc.?
    The Principal Investigator or other appropriate research lead should determine which data should be the subject of the DMP and, in the DMP, propose which data should be shared and/or preserved in accordance with the Requirements. The focus of this policy is Digital Research Data.

Sharing and Preservation

  1. The data or data products from my research will likely be cited by me and/or others. What should I to do ensure that these are cited appropriately and that I receive proper attribution for their use in others’ research?
    There are no global standards for how to cite data products. Suggestions for what information to include in a citation for your data product and how to format this information can be found here. To facilitate the citation of data products, the DOE encourages the use of persistent identifiers such as Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). DOIs facilitate the accurate linking between publications and data products. In most cases, the DOE can provide DOIs free of charge for datasets resulting from DOE-funded research through its Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) DataID Service.
     
  2. I would like to include a citation to a data product in one of my publications or other presentation material. How can this be done?
    There are no global standards for how to cite data products. You should refer to any guidance provided by the author of the data product. Further suggestions and guidance can be found here, including guidance for data products with persistent identifiers.
     
  3. How does this policy address sharing and preservation of supporting materials in physical form (e.g. in notebooks) or physical collections?
    Physical collections and materials are not covered by this policy.

Evaluation

  1. Should my proposed budget specifically address the resources and costs associated in implementing my DMP?
    Costs associated with the scope of work and resources articulated in a DMP may be included in the proposed research budget as permitted by the appropriate cost principles.
     
  2. What consequences, if any, result from failure to carry out the data management plan of a funded research proposal?
    The DMP is part of the overall conditions of the funded research and, as such, it is expected that researchers will follow, to the best of their ability, the proposed research and associated data management plan. Failure to do so may negatively influence future funding opportunities.