Department of Energy public access policy - data

The DOE requires a two-step process as part of its data policy:

  1. A Data Management Plan (DMP) submitted as part of any funding proposal (to be reviewed and updated as necessary throughout the research cycle)
  2. A deposit of dataset(s) supporting published research results, in a public data repository, made available at the time of publication

What do I need to submit as a part of my funding proposal?

A Data Management Plan (DMP) must be submitted with all research proposals, describing whether and how data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved and, at a minimum, describe how data sharing and preservation will enable validation of results, or how results could be validated if data are not shared or preserved. Applies to unclassified and otherwise unrestricted digital research data (i.e. digital data required to validate research findings) produced in whole or in part by Department of Energy entities where the data are produced with complete or partial DOE funding. Research proposals without a DMP will not be considered for funding. This policy takes effect for awards made for proposals or renewals on or after Oct. 1, 2014 for the Office of Science, and Oct. 1, 2015 for all other DOE Offices and elements.

View a list of Suggested Elements for a DMP:

Use the Data Management Planning Tool to create your DMP (contains templates and examples).

Do I have the rights?

The Federal Government claims a license to exercise all rights under copyright to (1) obtain, reproduce, publish or otherwise use the data first produced under an award; and (2) authorize others to receive, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use such data for Federal purposes.

Where do I deposit datasets:

  • Individual research offices will encourage researchers to deposit data in existing community or institutional repositories or to submit these data to the article publisher as supplemental information. See the UA Library guide to Data Repositories for some suggestions on finding a suitable repository.
  • In instances where the Department intends to collect digital data resulting from the supported research to make publicly available, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will include detailed requirements to ensure specific research data are submitted to the Open Energy Information Platform (OpenEI), a centralized and secure resource for publicly accessible energy data managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

When do I need to submit my datasets?

At the time of publication, defined as when research findings are published in a peer-reviewed scientific or technical journal; or when a Federal agency publicly and officially cites the research findings in support of an agency action that has the force and effect of law.

How do I submit? 

Before submitting your data to your chosen repository, you will need to follow several steps.

  • De-identify your data if appropriate
  • Put your data in an open, machine-readable file format such as .csv
  • Document the dataset thoroughly in a separate readme.txt file, and/or create metadata according to the scheme required by your chosen repository
  • Obtain a DOI for the dataset from Department’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) DataID service.
  • Follow the upload instructions for your chosen repository

See Data Management Best Practices Primer for help in fleshing out these steps.

Are there any compliance requirements?

The Data Management Plan (DMP) is part of the overall research proposal 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 will negatively influence future funding opportunities. Furthermore, current oversight of grants and other financial assistance allows for withholding or adjustment of funds at the end of each performance period. Similar review processes will be used when evaluating DOE laboratory research activities as a part of periodic performance reviews.

More Information

For more information from DOE, see DOE's Statement on Digital Data Management

For more information from the UA Libraries, see Data Management Resources.

Contact: Chris Kollen, Data Curation Librarian