NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

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NIH has issued the Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy (effective January 25, 2023) to promote the sharing of scientific data. Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery, in part, by enabling validation of research results, providing accessibility to high-value datasets and promoting data reuse for future research studies.

Under the DMS policy, NIH expects that investigators and institutions:

  1. Plan and budget for the managing and sharing of data.
  2. Submit a DMS plan for review when applying for funding on or after January 25, 2023.
  3. Comply with the approved DMS plan.

**Individual NIH Institutes, Centers or Offices may have additional policies and expectations (see NIH Institute and Center Data Sharing Policies).

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Prospectively planning for how scientific data will be managed and ultimately shared is a crucial first step in optimizing the reach of data generated from NIH-funded research. Investigators and institutions are encouraged to consider these crucial elements early in research planning.

  1. Determine if your proposed research is subject to the DMS policy.
    • NIH requires ALL applicants planning to generate scientific data to prepare a DMS plan that describes how the scientific data will be managed and shared. 
    • This policy does not apply to awards for Training Programs and Fellowship Programs. Please see the complete list of NIH activity codes subject to the DMS policy.
  2. Identify appropriate methods/approaches and repositories for managing and sharing scientific data.
  3. Develop a plan for managing and sharing scientific data.
    • DMS plans are recommended to be two pages or less in length.  
    • NIH has developed an optional DMS plan format page that aligns with the recommended elements of a DMS plan. Important: Do not include hypertext (e.g., hyperlinks and URLs) in the DMS plan attachment.
    • Sample Plans: NIH has also developed sample plans to get you started. 
      • The sample DMS plans available for educational purposes only. Note that these samples are not intended to be used as templates and their use does not guarantee approval by NIH.
      • The various sample DMS plans may reflect additional expectations established by NIH or specific NIH Institutes, Centers or Offices that go beyond the DMS Policy. Applicants will need to ensure that their plan reflects any additional, applicable expectations (including from NIH policies and any ICO- or program-specific expectations as stated in the funding opportunity announcement).
        • In some cases the NIH sample plans reference the sponsored programs office as the office responsible for oversight. OSPA will not be engaging in any oversight activities other than ensuring the plan is included in both the proposal and if awarded, annual and final progress reports. The PI should work with their school directors to determine how the plan will be monitored and managed, frequency of the oversight and by whom at the institution (e.g. titles, roles).
    • Elements to include in a plan:
      1. Data Type
      2. Related Tools, Software and/or Code
      3. Standards
      4. Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines
      5. Access, Distribution or Reuse Considerations
      6. Oversight of Data Management and Sharing