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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP) Research Guide: Home

A research guide containing information on requirements and resources related the 2023 NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy

Data Management and Sharing Resources

Understanding the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

This video provides a brief overview of the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. 

NIH Policy Requirements for a Data Management and Sharing Plan

Data Management and Sharing Plan is a 2 page document that includes:

  • Data Type: Identifies scientific data to be managed, preserved and shared. Includes a general summary of types/estimated amounts of scientific data to be generated and/or used in research.
  • Related Tools, Software, or Code: Identifies if specialized tools are needed to access or manipulate the shared scientific data and outlines access processes.
  • Standards: Identifies what if any standards will be applied to the scientific data and associated metadata.
  • Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines
    • Identifies the repository(ies) where scientific data and metadata will be archived. The NIH page on Selecting a Data Repository provides recommendations.
    • Create a unique identifier for the dataset or datasets (often assigned by a repository automatically via a DOI).
    • Create a timeline for data availability. Data must be shared no later than the publication of finding or by the end of the award for data that is unpublished.
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations: Identifies factors affecting the subsequent access, distribution, or reuse of scientific data
  • Oversight of Data Management and Sharing: Identifies how compliance with the DMSP will be monitored and managed

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (2023)

What is new in the 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy?

  • Effective January 25, 2023 ALL grant applications or renewals that generate scientific data must include a detailed 2 page Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) related to managing and storing data through the duration of the funded period as well as data dissemination.
  • Upon award and approval of the DMSP, compliance with the plan is expected to ensure future funding.
  • See the NIH 1 page policy overview for further details. 

What does NIH expect from investigators and institutions under the DMS policy?

  • Plan and budget for the management and sharing of data
  • Submit a DMSP plan for review when applying for funding
  • Comply with the approved DMSP plan

How can I determine if my research is subject to the DMS policy?

Why is NIH making these changes to the existing policy?

  • NIH is working to support the public availability of federally funded research. The goal of this policy is to emphasize good data stewardship with the intent of advancing reproducible research and promoting public trust in investments in scientific research.

How does the DMS policy define scientific data?

  • Scientific Data is “data commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications.”
  • Not Included: “Scientific data does not include laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, completed case report forms, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, communications with colleagues, or physical objects such as laboratory specimens.”

What if I’m not able to share my data?

  • The NIH DMSP policy encourages researchers to maximize sharing, but recognizes that there are likely to be legal, ethical, and technical exceptions. Any exceptions must be discussed in a researcher's NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan, and sharing plans must be communicated in informed consent documents. It is important to note that all data must be managed even if not all data can be shared. NIH has created a site dedicated to Protecting Participant Privacy When Sharing Scientific Data.

What tools are available to help me develop a DMS Plan?

  • The DMPTool is a free, open-source application that helps researchers to create data management plans. GW is an 'affiliated institution' for the DMPTool which means that GW users can create a personalized dashboard to see projects that they've created via this tool. When creating a plan, be sure to include NIH as the corresponding funder in order to utilize the most current template related to the NIH DMS Policy. 
  • NIH has also created a Data Management and Sharing Plan Format in order to give researchers a better sense of the elements required in a DMSP.

What if I have additional questions about the policy? 

  • NIH has compiled a list of FAQs to answer common questions about policy requirements. 

GW Support Services

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Paul Levett
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This guide draws heavily on content from guides from the University of Pennsylvania, the Virginia Commonwealth University, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. Many thanks to the work of our librarian colleagues.