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Research Data Management and Security

Research Data Management: An increased focus on the accessibility, usability, and impact of research data brings with it new priorities for researchers. Funders, journals, and the taxpaying public are requiring greater access to research results, especially if the research has been sponsored by public funds. This section provides a variety of resources on data management practices and concepts, as well as specific information to help Texas State researchers fulfill data management and sharing requirements of NSF, NIH and other funders.

Research Data Security: Texas State is responsible for ensuring the security of highly sensitive research data, such as Protected Health Information (PHI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The release of such data not only threatens research subjects but can result in financial liability for the institution and in some case, the researchers making the data available. This section contains information and links to Texas State policies and procedures applicable to all research or sponsored projects involving data security and acquisition of IT products and services.

Texas State University offers researchers multiple resources to ensure compliance with federal funders’ mandate for open access data and publications.

Where to go for assistance:

Understand funder requirements for your data management plan

Learn the basics of data management planning

Deposit and publish data/open access publications

Data Management
Data sharing allows for reproducibility, transparency, and data re-use in research. Sharing is easier if data are managed well from the start of a project.

Creating a Data Management Plan
A data management plan (DMP) is document describing how a you plan to manage data during your research and after your research project is completed, including how it will be organized, maintained, and shared.
Creating a DMP will help you to properly manage your data for your own use, fulfill your sponsor’s requirements, and make the data accessible for future use.
Your DMP will describe the structure and nature of the data as well as the activities and technical requirements to gather, merge, transfer, organize, document, analyze and preserve research data.

Data Plan Fundamentals
Funders may require specific DMP components and standards and formats will vary between academic disciplines but all data management plans will address common fundamental elements:

  • Types of data to be produced by the research
  • Data format and metadata standards
  • Provisions for access and sharing of data
  • How data may be reused or redistributed
  • Data archiving and preservation
  • Transition or termination of the data collection in the long-term future
  • Budgeting for the above


Using the Data Management Planning Tool
To aid researchers in creating effective data management plans (DMPs), the University of California Curation Center collaborated with major research institutions on the development of the DMPTool, an online application to help researchers create data management plans. 
DMPTool provides you detailed guidance and links to data management resources and takes you step by step through the process of generating a comprehensive plan tailored to your funder’s specific requirements. Because Texas State is a DMPTool Partner Institution, you’ll be able to log into using your Texas State NetID and password.

Additional Resources

Specific Funder Requirements

General Best Practices


Sharing and Archiving

Data Storage and Security



Research Data Security
If you are a Principle Investigator and other research personnel responsible for the security of data related to or resulting from your funded or unfunded research, your practices must be in compliance with all Texas State IT Security policies, standards, and guidance at all times.
Because Investigators may also be required to fulfill specific data security requirements set by federal funders and other research sponsors, you should take care to thoroughly understand such requirements.

Assistance during Proposal Submission or Prior to Grant Set Up
If you have questions related to how best to carry out your funder’s data security requirements within the Texas State IT environment, please use the Research Data Security Form to contact IT Security and Research Integrity and Compliance (RIC).  Use of the form is particularly critical if you need IT Security assistance during proposal submission preparation or prior to setting up a grant account.
Use of this form facilitates planning and communication between IT Security and RIC so that we can get you the support and information you need in order to submit your proposal or get your grant account set up on schedule.

Data Use Agreements
Any proposal, contract, agreement, terms and conditions document, purchase, or other transaction that commits Texas State University to specific terms, conditions, actions, standards, or requirements related to any type data security requirement related to research (funded or unfunded), must approved by, and may only be signed by, Dr. Michael Blanda or Dr. Walter E. Horton (unless the approval and/or signature is required to be provided by the Vice President of Information Technology, their designee, the Director of Purchasing, or their designee).
Any such agreements related to data from funded or unfunded research will not be approved or signed unless an IT security assessment has been completed.  

Research Data Security Form
Investigators must submit the Research Data Security Form to schedule an initial assessment with IT Security. IT Security personnel will schedule a subsequent onsite consultation.
An IT security assessment prior to proposal submission or finalization of a contract is a mandatory requirement for any proposal, plan, contract, or agreement that contains specific requirements for data security. Examples of such requirements include, but are not limited to, data storage, data transfer, data re-use, restricted access, training, network, software or hardware requirements.

Access the Research Data Security Form
Texas State IT Security