Planetary Sciences Division


The Planetary Science Research Program supports investigations to help ascertain the content, origin, and evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere, consistent with the strategy for Planetary Science Exploration embodied in the 2014 NASA Science Plan. The Planetary Science Research portfolio contains specific Program Elements aimed at addressing these strategic objectives.

Data Management Plan

In order to broaden access to the results of NASA-funded research, proposals submitted to ROSES are required to include a data management plan (DMP). The guiding philosophy behind this requirement is that all relevant data should be made publicly available (i.e., without fee or restriction of use) at the time of publication, or at the earliest practical time thereafter, through a stable and long-term supported data repository.

Individual Program Elements may provide instructions that supersede and/or amplify the requirements described here. For example, the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration and Tools (PDART, Appendix C.7) Program Element includes the data management discussion in the body of the proposal. The instrument development, Early Career Fellowship, and Planetary Major Equipment calls (Appendices C.12, C.13, C.16, and C.17) do not require DMPs.

DMPs must be placed in a special section of the proposal, entitled “Data Management Plan.” All proposals to Program Elements that require DMPs must contain this section. The DMP may not exceed two pages in length, and should immediately follow the References and Citations for the Scientific/Technical/ Management (S/T/M) portion of the proposal. The two-page DMP section does not count against the 15-page limit of the S/T/M section. Formatting requirements for DMPs are the same as for the S/T/M section. When appropriate or required, letters of support from data archives must be included in the Statements of Commitment and Letters of Support, Feasibility, and Endorsement (see ROSES Summary of Solicitation, Table 1). [Added July 26, 2016]

The DMP must cover any data needed to validate the scientific conclusions of peer-reviewed publications, particularly data underlying figures, maps, and tables. The DMP should also cover any other data and software that would enable future research or the replication/reproduction of published results. Software, whether a stand-alone program, an enhancement to existing code or a module that interfaces with existing codes, created as part of a NASA award should be made publicly available when it is practical and feasible to do so and when there is scientific utility in doing so. Stand-alone code that is not straightforward to implement or whose utility is significantly outweighed by the costs to share it is not expected to be made available. NASA expects that the source code, with associated documentation sufficient to enable the code’s use, will be made publicly available via GitHub (, the PDS (for mission-specific code, when appropriate), or an appropriate community-recognized depository (for instance, the homepage of the code base for which a module was developed). Archiving software in a public repository does not require the proposer to maintain the code. Awards that derive from proposals including plans to post code in GitHub will contain a Rights in Data clause reflecting this expectation. For proposals that use non-mission data (e.g., laboratory results, Earth-based observations) that are not publicly available (in the PDS or other archives, in the literature, etc.), the project is expected to make the data available following the Data Management Plan guidelines.

“Data” does not include physical objects (e.g., astromaterials or analog specimens, experimental run products, etc.), preliminary and other unpublished data, data in prepublication documents, private communications, or certain other types of information that have been specifically exempted from the DMP requirement.

In the case of a project that would produce no data, as defined above, or only data specifically exempted, the DMP should state that no data preservation or data sharing is needed, but must also explain why. In a case where no appropriate archive exists for a particular data set, the DMP should discuss alternative methods for making the data publicly available.

The DMP must contain the following elements, as appropriate to the project, in adequate detail for review:

  • A description of data types, volume, formats, and (where relevant) standards;
  • A description of the schedule for data archiving and sharing;
  • A description of the intended repositories for archived data, including mechanisms for public access and distribution;
  • A discussion of how the plan enables long-term preservation of data;
  • A discussion of roles and responsibilities of team members in accomplishing the DMP. (If funds are required for data management activities, these should be covered in the normal budget and budget justification sections of the proposal.)

DMPs will be reviewed as part of the overall NASA research proposal review process. Proposals that do not address each of these items in their DMP, even if determined to be selected or selectable for funding, may not be funded until an adequate DMP is submitted. Funded researchers, research institutions, and NASA centers are responsible for ensuring and demonstrating compliance with the DMPs approved as part of their awards. Awardees who do not fulfill the intent of their DMPs may have continuing funds withheld and this may be considered in the evaluation of future proposals. For more information on DMPs, please see the Planetary Science Division Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on data management plans in ROSES-2016, which will appear under “Other Documents” on the NSPIRES webpage for the Planetary Science Division Program Elements.

If you have questions or need help, contact the Research Access Help Desk on our Contact Form.