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NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Policy & Implementation

Published on · Last Updated 4 months 3 weeks ago


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The NIH has issued a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy to promote the sharing of scientific data. Responsible data management and sharing has many benefits, including accelerating the pace of biomedical research, enabling validation of research results, and providing accessibility to high-value datasets, and ultimately this will facilitate the development of treatments and products that improve human health.

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

Acknowledgement: In addition to NIH communications, content for this guide is drawn from the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library at George Washington University. This work is shared here

under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

NIH Policy FAQs

  1. Plan and budget for the management and sharing of data
  2. Submit a DMSP with your application for funding
  3. Comply with the approved DMSP

See NIH resources on Resources Covered by the 2023 Data Management & Sharing Policy which includes activity codes subject to the DMS policy. Also utilize the NIH "Which Policies Apply to My Research?" decision tool for guidance.

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.

  1. 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."
  2. 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."

The NIH DMS 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 DSMP and 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.

The new policy will apply to new submissions on and after January 25, 2023. There is no change to current awards.

The DMS Policy applies to all research that generates scientific data, including:

  • Research Projects
  • Some Career Development Awards (Ks)
    • Small Business SBIR/STTR
  • Research Centers

The DMS Policy does not apply to research and other activities that do not generate scientific data, including:

  • Training (T)
  • Fellowships (Fs)
    • Construction (C06)
    • Conference Grants (R13)
  • Resource (Gs)
  • Research-Related Infrastructure Programs (e.g., S06)

NIH will monitor compliance during regular periods, e.g., Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs). Noncompliance with Plans may result in the NIH ICO adding special Terms and Conditions of Award or terminating the award. If award recipients are not compliant with Plans at the end of the award, noncompliance may be factored into future funding decisions.


Application Resources & Guidance

The new NIH forms will have a field for “Other Plans”. eSPA update is anticipated for mid January for uploading the DSMP.

NIH has updated the instructions for Resource Sharing Plan to remove inclusion of Data Sharing Plan and Genomic Data Sharing. The Resource Sharing Plan now includes only model organisms and research tools. Plans for Genomic Data Sharing will now be included in the Other Plans document.

The Multi-PI plan is not changing. You may refer to the DSMP in the plan for consistency instead of duplicating the text.

Costs associated with DMSP will go under Other Direct Costs "8-17 Other". The costs should be clarified in the Budget Justification. Please work with your RBA on details and visit NIH's budgeting guide.

Per the Special Instructions for Applications Submitted with a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan, “If a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan is required in the proposed application, (see instructions for the "Other Plan(s)" attachment on the PHS 398 Research Plan Form and the PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form, as applicable), the Additional Narrative Justification is required.” Detailed instructions can be found in the Forms H application guide.

ARCUS at CHOP has provided templates for the DMSP.

Penn Faculty can also access DSMP language and writing guides on the DMPTool.