National Aeronautics and Space Administration public access policy - data

NASA 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 NASA Archives, as supplementary information to the published article or other means; made available at the time of publication or within a reasonable period of time after 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 (extramural) or research project plans (intramural), describing whether and how data generated in the course of the proposed research will be shared and preserved and, at a minimum, 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 entities where the data are produced with complete or partial NASA 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 January 15, 2015.

View NASA’s Plan for Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research.

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 to deposit datasets:

  • Official NASA archives, depending upon subject. Your specific program manager will provide information about the appropriate archive(s) and an example DMP
  • Other public repositories as set out in the approved DMP

When do I need to submit my datasets?

At the time of publication for data that support published charts and figures. Other data may be made available later within a reasonable time period after publication, as per the approved DMP.  

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 NASA or the public repository set out in the DMP
  • Obtain a DOI for the dataset from the NASA Archive or the public repository set out in the DMP
  • Follow the upload instructions for the NASA Archive or the public repository set out in the DMP

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. Research investigators and their institutions as well as NASA Centers will ensure full compliance with DMPs. Compliance will be verified by program officers by evaluation of required project reports; if necessary, continuing funds may be withheld in cases of noncompliance.

More Information

NASA-Funded Research Results

UA Libraries' Data Management Resources

Contact: Chris Kollen, Data Curation Librarian