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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan

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NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (2023)

This page is intended to inform the Penn community about the new NIH policy. The current NIH policy on sharing research data expires January 25, 2023.

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 determining condition of the work, 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."

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. In the end, ALL data should be managed, not all must be shared.

What is included in the DMSP?

What is included in the DMSP?

The DMSP must include the following key elements and should be concise (2-pages or fewer). Plans should be updated throughout the award.  

The NIH has created a new website with more detailed information about the DMSP. You can also read the Supplemental Information: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan for more details.

  • Data Type
    • Identify data to be preserved and shared
  • Related Tools, Software, or Code
    • Identify any tools needed to access or manipulate data
  • Standards
    • Identify standards for the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data documentation, unique identifiers)
  • Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines
    • Identify a repository
    • Create unique identifier for dataset
    • Develop timeline for data availability. Data must be shared no later than publication of findings or by the end of the award (for unpublished data). 
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
    • Describe factors for data access, distribution, and reuse
  • Oversight of the DMSP
    • Explain how the DMSP be monitored and managed and by whom

Ask a Data Question

We offer Data Management Planning consultations Mondays 11:00-12:00 (in person or virtual), Wednesdays 10:00-11:00, and Thursdays 3:00-4:00 (virtual only). 

Consider using DMPTool for the current DMP templates from most major agencies.

Have a question? 

Head of Research Data Services

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Lynda Kellam
238.1 Van Pelt
Subjects: Data & GIS