Department of Defense (DoD) Public Access Policy - Data

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

  1. A Data Management Plan (DMP) submitted as part of any funding proposal
  2. A deposit of dataset(s) supporting published research results, in a public data repository, made available at the time of initial 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 the digitally formatted scientific data created or gathered in the course of DoD intramural and extramural research. The plan will describe how and where the data will be made available to the public and explicitly describe how the data that underlies scientific publications will be available for discovery, retrieval, and analysis.

Digitally formatted scientific data resulting from unclassified, publicly releasable research supported wholly or in part by DoD funding should be stored and publicly accessible to search, retrieve, and analyze to the extent feasible and consistent with applicable law and policy; agency mission; resource constraints; and U.S. national, homeland, and economic security. For the purposes of this draft proposed plan, data will not be publicly releasable if release would compromise the ability to file for intellectual property protection on any invention arising from the data.

DMP may include the following information:

  • The types of data, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project that are publicly releasable;
  • The standards to be used for data and metadata format and content;
  • Conditions for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  • Conditions and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the creation of derivative works; and
  • Plans for archiving datasets, or data samples, and other digitally formatted scientific data, and for preservation of access

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

The DoD will allow for inclusion of costs for data management and access in proposals.They will dDetermine the extent of direct data management and access costs appropriately associated with programs.

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 with a centralized data catalog/locator at DoD Defense Technical Information Center to consolidate the metadata for compliance, measurement, and discovery. See the UA Library guide to Data Repositories for some suggestions on finding a suitable repository.

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.

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 the data repository where you will be making your data available  
  • 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?

DoD will ensure that DMPs include clear plans for sharing research data and that data underlying the conclusions of scientific publications resulting from DoD awards are freely available to the public before making subsequent awards.

More Information

For more information from DoD, see DoD's Plan to Establish Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

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