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Analyzing Data Management Plans: Where Librarians Can Make a Difference

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

The Human Element of Librarianship

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.215.1 - 26.215.21



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Paper Authors


Sara M. Samuel University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Sara is an engineering librarian at the University of Michigan University Library where she is a liaison to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Department. Sara has a bachelor of arts from Hope College and a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan.

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Paul F. Grochowski University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Paul Grochowski is an engineering librarian at the University of Michigan.

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Leena N Lalwani University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Leena Lalwani is an Engineering librarian and the Coordinator for Engineering Collection at the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library (AAEL) at the University of Michigan. She is also the liaison Librarian for Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Entrepreneurship. Leena has been a librarian at University of Michigan since 1995 in various ranks. Prior to joining University of Michigan, Leena has worked as Librarian at Gelman Sciences and American Tobacco Company. Leena has a M.L.S. degree from Catholic University of America and M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Mumbai.

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Jake Carlson University of Michigan Library

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Jake Carlson is the research data services manager at the University of Michigan Library. In this role, he explores the application of the theories, principles, and practices of library science beyond the domain of traditional library work. In particular, Carlson seeks to increase the Library’s capabilities and opportunities
to provide services supporting data-related research. Much of his work is done through direct collaborations and partnerships with research faculty. Carlson is one of the architects of the Data Curation Profiles Toolkit ( developed by Purdue University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is the principal investigator of the Data Information Literacy project (, a collaboration between Purdue University, Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Oregon.

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Analyzing Data Management Plans: Where Librarians Can Make a DifferenceSince January 18, 2011, any researcher applying to a National Science Foundation (NSF) grantmust include a data management plan (DMP) in their proposal. Many librarians have respondedto this mandate by establishing new data-related services. One potential area for engaging withresearchers in the grant proposal process is offering a DMP review service. In preparation foroffering a DMP review service, engineering librarians at this institution recently reviewedtwenty-nine different DMPs that have been part of successful NSF grant proposals submitted inearly 2014. The librarians analyzed the DMPs using three different sets of criteria: twodeveloped at this institution for the purpose of analyzing DMPs from Engineering and Literature,Science, and the Arts (LSA) faculty, and a rubric currently under development by the IMLSfunded Data management plan as a Research Tool (DART) project. The librarians had access tothis third set of criteria as its trial run.Analysis of the DMPs shows that the overall quality of DMPs in this institution varies greatly.Some common weaknesses in the DMPs are: no mention of roles and responsibilities; nomention of metadata standards that will be used; and not all DMPs include detailed,implementable plans for sharing and/or archiving data. Analysis of the DMPs also revealed gapsin the librarians’ knowledge of DMP requirements. The DART rubric used in this analysis makesexplicit the varying DMP requirements from the different NSF directorates. In addition todiscussing our various findings after this current set of analyses, we will compare our findings toa similar analysis of engineering DMPs from 2013, highlighting any changes in the quality ofDMPs. Looking toward a future where the outcome of grant proposals may be more dependenton the quality of the DMP, this analysis gives the engineering librarians in this institution afoundation for creating a DMP service in the coming year, and can inform other librarians whowish to develop a similar service at their institutions.

Samuel, S. M., & Grochowski, P. F., & Lalwani, L. N., & Carlson, J. (2015, June), Analyzing Data Management Plans: Where Librarians Can Make a Difference Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23554

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