NSF to require data access plan

1 minute read

Science Insider reports that the National Science Foundation is going to make a “data management plan” a requirement of every grant application.

NSF's current policy requires grantees to share their data within a reasonable length of time so long as the cost is modest. "That's nice, but it doesn't have much teeth," said Seidel. Under the new policy, which is expected to be unveiled this fall, a researcher would submit a data management plan as a two-page supplement to any regular grant proposal. That would make it an element of the merit review process. NSF wants to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to the issue, Seidel explained, because each discipline has its own culture about data-sharing. "A scientist might say that my plan is that I don't need one, because I don't save my data," he told the board committee, which has just formed a task force on data policy. "The important thing is that it puts people on notice that they have to think about it, maybe for the first time."

It sounds to me like it still doesn’t “have much teeth.” The kind of scientist he describes, who “doesn’t need a plan”, doesn’t need any federal money, either.

I mean, seriously – they’re going to “put people on notice that they have to think about it”? Give me a break.