Public Access to Research Using Data Management Plans

Public Access to Research and Data Management Plans

Federally funded researchers are required to make their published results available and manage their data. 

Background: On February 22, 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a memorandum entitled “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research.” It directed Federal agencies with more than $100 million in research and development (R&D) expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication, and it required researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research.

UNT developed a framework and plan for PIs and staff to implement that will increase public access to publications and data per the OSTP directive.   

  • The concept of using a Data Management Plan (DMP) as the vehicle to implement Public Access became a widely shared result. The DMP becomes the obligation to those who receive these grants, the obligation of what the institution must meet.  
  • Awards to institutions will include conditions to implement this public access requirement. Principal Investigators must ensure that all researchers who work on projects funded in whole or in part by federal grants or cooperative agreements comply with the public access requirements, including public access to data being maintained by the university and maintained going forward. Even though this is a shared responsibility, it is the primary responsibility of the PI to execute the public access to the data and publications. 
  • The Grants and Contracts Administration office created a process for Public Access to Research using the DMP, in partnership with the library. The philosophy is that data and publications be placed in the appropriate location for a designated discipline with the location of the data and publications housed at the library.
  • This Public Access to Research process will be fully implemented by Jan 1, 2021. Every outgoing federal grant will have a DMP associated with it, and every incoming federal grant will have a direct link to a library record and where the information is located, based on the DMP.

This process is required for Researchers with Awards at all Federal Agencies as well as any other non-federal award listing “data management” or “public access” on an RFP, an award document, or on a sponsor’s website. 

Data Management Procedure

  1. At the proposal stage, the Proposal Team will email the PI letting them know a Data Management Plan (DMP) is required, and that the PI is responsible for developing the plan.

        Resources to assist PI with DMP:

    • Follow sponsor agency guidelines on data management storage (example: upload data to NIH PMC database)

    • Know what the PI’s field/societies utilize

    • Follow expectations of PI's field and discipline 

If a form/format is not provided by the sponsor, it is expected the PI use the tool provided by the UNT Library. 

By this process, UNT declares to all UNT university principal investigators that UNT will only recognize the distribution plan for data as detailed in the DMP. The DMP is the formal obligation. regarding public access to data and no other parts of the proposal document will obligate this institution to alternative requirements.

The Proposal Team will set up an email introduction between and the PI, and suggest they discuss the Data Management Plan and the availability of the Data Management Plan (DMP) tool. Library staff receiving email to and the GCA Specialist should be copied on the email introduction.  

If the Proposal/award’s funding source is Federal Flow Through, then a separate DMP is not required by our office, unless required by the sponsor. 

Other situations that do not require a DMP: 

  • “Export Control” associated Proposals/Awards 

  • Proposals/Awards that have research formally designated as “Controlled Unclassified” or otherwise deemed by the sponsor as “sensitive.” 

  • Proposals/Awards carrying an IRB protocol with personally identifiable information. 

  • Proposals/Awards with a PI declared “expected intellectual property” exception Requires approval from Research Commercial Agreements (RCA) 

In these situations, a DMP would be submitted listing the appropriate exception.

  1. If the grant is awarded, but before GCA sets up the award in their recordkeeping systems, Proposal Team will send the DMP to the GCA Specialist stating an award with a DMP requirement has been received. 

    Included with the DMP should be:

    • PI name 

    • Federal Agency (or non-fed sponsor requiring a DMP) 

    • Project Title 

    • Agency grant number 

  2. GCA Specialist will send email to PI and to with DMP and award information attached, congratulating PI on receiving award and telling the PI that we are working to post an online copy of the DMP and establish a Persistent Grant Identifier (PGI) in the UNT Digital Library.  

    The email will include a reminder that the establishment of the DMP and the PGI is required before an award can be set up. 

  3. Library staff receiving email to creates a record in the UNT Digital Library that contains the PGI and associated copy of the DMP; once the PGI is established, library staff will email the PI, and copy the GCA Specialist, that the DMP and PGI have been set up.  

    The email will include the blank inventory template, with the award information inserted, which is to be used when submitting data and/or publications to the UNT Libraries, with a reminder to include the PGI, or agency grant number with all data and/or publications submitted to the UNT Libraries.  

  4. The GCA Specialist will enter the DMP and PGI in institution system, and the Proposal Team will be notified that the award can officially be set up and sent to Post Award.  
    • The DMP and PGI will be saved in the institutional record for these awards. 
  5. A Data Management Plan reminder will be sent annually for data and publication updates: 
    • GCA Specialist will email PI, copying, with the reminder to deposit data and publications and with a recommendation to the PI to submit all available data, publications, and permalinks to content hosted elsewhere (as required by the DMP). 

      If the PI has not yet reported any data or publications to the UNT Digital Library, the attached template can be used. Otherwise, the PI will be asked to add to the last version of the inventory template that was submitted to, and to make any applicable submissions at this time rather than waiting until grant closeout.  PIs are reminded that they must include the PGI, or agency grant number when submitting data, publications, and permalinks to content elsewhere. 
    • PI submits any data, publications, and permalinks, including the PGI, Project ID#, or agency grant number, to  
  6. A Data Management Plan reminder will be sent when the award ends
    • GCA Specialist will email PI, copying, encouraging PI to submit any data, publication, and permalinks to content hosted elsewhere, that has not already been submitted.  

      If the PI has not yet reported any data or publications to the UNT Digital Library, the attached template can be used. Otherwise, the PI will be asked to add to the last version of the inventory template that was submitted to  

      The GCA Specialist will also let PI know there will be 2 additional reminders sent, one 12 months after closeout and the final reminder 36 months after closeout, as final opportunities to submit data, publications, and/or permalinks.  

    • PI will be required to submit a statement confirming all data and publications have been disclosed to the library and all conditions of the DMP policy have been fulfilled. This statement can be submitted at any time after closeout and would end future reminders about required data and publications from GCA Specialist. 

    • Following the process described under section (6) above, the PI submits data, publications, and permalinks, to  

  7. A Data Management Plan reminder will be sent 12 months after award closeout:
  8. Data Management Plan final reminder to be sent 36 months after award closeout:
    • GCA Specialist will email PI copying as in the previous sections. Then, following the process described under section (6) above, the PI submits data, publications, and permalinks to 

      A confirmation email from the PI is required at this time stating all data, publications and permalinks have been submitted. 

  9. Should UNT Post Award specialist determine that the PI failed, after 36 months post award closeout, to post the data as stipulated in the formal DMP, the PI will be restricted from access to the UNT pre-award proposal submission process until and unless the VPRI approves a reconciliation.  

Note:  If there is a change to the primary PI on an award with a federal agency, or other award requiring a DMP, the GCA Specialist will contact the new PI about the institutional obligations of the DMP. 

Updated 12/23/20