What is new about the 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy?
Beginning on January 25, 2023, ALL grant applications or renewals that generate Scientific Data must include a detailed plan for managing and sharing data through the entire funded period with plans for data dissemination. You must provide this information in a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP). In addition, once the award is made and plan approved, compliance with the DMSP will be a term & condition of the award, meaning it can impact future funding decisions.
Why is the NIH making these changes?
The NIH is emphasizing good data stewardship with the goals of advancing rigorous and reproducible research and promoting public trust in scientific endeavors.
How does the NIH define scientific data?
Scientific Data are "the recorded factual material 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. Scientific data do 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. (Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing)"
Am I required to share my data?
The policy encourages efforts to maximize appropriate sharing, but recognizes exceptions (i.e., legal, ethical, or technical reasons). These reasons must be communicated in the NIH DMSP. In addition, sharing plans must be communicated in informed consent documents. In the end, ALL data must be managed, even if not all data can be shared.
The NIH has created a new website with more information about the DMSP. You can also read the Supplemental Information: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan for more details on their expectations.
Plans should be updated throughout the award as things change to reflect the reality of your research project.
The DMSP must include the following key elements and should be concise (2-pages or fewer).