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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an award-winning and world-renowned data repository for data in the social and behavioral sciences.

Guidelines for Effective Data Management Plans

Many federal funding agencies, including NIH and most recently NSF, are requiring that grant applications contain data management plans for projects involving data collection. To support researchers in meeting this requirement, ICPSR is providing guidance on creating such plans.

Guidelines for Effective Data Management Plans

Elements of a Data Management Plan


A service of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), openICPSR is a self-publishing repository for social, behavioral, and health sciences research data. openICPSR is particularly well-suited for the deposit of replication data sets for researchers who need to publish their raw data associated with a journal article so that other researchers can replicate their findings.

Your deposit to openICPSR involves no cost to you, involves very little effort, and ensures that your data collection is preserved for the long-term. Other benefits include:

  • up to 2GB in storage space, 
  • up to 1,000 files and folders per deposit,
  • immediate publication with citation and persistent identifier (DOI), 
  • meeting funder requirements for shared data, 
  • ensuring shared data meet the FAIR principles, 
  • increased discoverability via ICPSR's data catalog and major search engines,
  • increased research transparency via links to publications, 
  • demonstrated impact of your research via usage statistics, 
  • options for sharing and preserving restricted-use (sensitive) data securely, 
  • flexible licensing options, 
  • no cost dissemination to other data users, and 
  • reducing/eliminating your costs to maintain the data over time.

All data collection deposits to openICPSR are expected to connect with or expand upon the scientific investigation of the social dimensions of human lives and to include data, code, and documentation necessary to understand and/or replicate the depositor’s research. openICPSR offers fully-hosted research data services for organizations and journals interested in showcasing their data collections and tracking the impact of their work. 

Deposit Data with ICPSR

ICPSR welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data. Depositing data into ICPSR is free. Deposits are made using a secure data deposit form to describe the data collection and upload content. For an overview of ICPSR deposit services for both public-use and restricted-use data, please refer to Depositing Data with ICPSR.

Data Management & Curation

ICPSR stores, curates, and provides access to scientific data so others can reuse the data and validate research findings. Curation, from the Latin "to care," is the process that ICPSR uses to add value to data, maximize access, and ensure long-term preservation.

Data curation is akin to work performed by an art or museum curator. Through the curation process, data are organized, described, cleaned, enhanced, and preserved for public use, much like the work done on paintings or rare books to make the works accessible to the public now and in the future. With the modern Web, it's increasingly easy to post and share data. Without curation, however, data can be difficult to find, use, and interpret. Through curation, ICPSR provides meaningful and enduring access to data.

Guides for Data Curation 

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