Department of Education Public Access Policy - Data


The majority of Department of Education grants supporting research and development come from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). This guide covers the policy and procedures for the IES.

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

  1. A Data Management Plan (DMP) submitted as part of all research conducted or funded by the IES.

  2. A deposit of data available in appropriate long-term data repositories (free of charge for public access), made available at the time of publication. Access to some or all of the data may be restricted due to confidentiality (e.g., data covered by Common Rule for Protection of Human Subjects, FERPA and HIPAA).

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

Submit a data management plan that identifies the data to be generated by the research, how the data will be managed, how privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable information will be ensured, how the security of the data will be assured, and the details of how the data will be made accessible to others in machine readable formats for free at the time of publication in public repositories, when available. It will also include a plan for preventing disclosure of personally identifiable information, and the timeline and costs for data sharing. If researchers believe that full data sharing is not possible, they must provide a written rationale.

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?

IES encourages researchers to deposit data in existing public repositories (disciplinary or institutional) 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.

IES is working to identify data archives and repositories to help provide awardees with optimal choices for public access to the data resulting from ED-funded research. Relevant data repositories will be added to the dedicated IES web page on public access as they are identified, FAQ About Providing Access to Data.

When do I need to submit my datasets?

No later than the acceptance of the main findings from the final study dataset in a peer-reviewed scholarly publication and data will be available for at least 10 years.

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

  • 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 from the data repository

  • 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?

Once the DMP is approved by IES, then the PI and the institution are required to carry it out, and to report progress and problems through the regular reporting channels. Compliance with IES data sharing requirements is expected even though the final dataset may not be completed and prepared for data sharing until after the grant has been completed. In cases where the PI/grantee is non-compliant with the requirements of the data sharing policy or DMP, subsequent awards to individuals or institutions may be affected.

More Information

U.S. Department of Education Plan and Policy Development Guidelines for Public Access

IES Policy Regarding Public Access to Research

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