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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP)

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NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (2023)

This page is intended to inform the Penn community about the new National Institutes of Health (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 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.

What is included in the DMSP?

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). 

  • Data Type
    • Summarize types (e.g., DICOM, CSV) and amount (e.g., 50 participants) of data generated and/or used in the research
    • Identify how data will be managed, preserved, and shared
    • List any metadata, other relevant data, or associated documentation that will be made accessible for interpretation of the data
  • Related Tools, Software, or Code
    • Identify any tools needed to access or manipulate data
    • If applicable, describe how tools can be accessed
  • 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 where you will be sharing your data
    • Describe how data will be made findable and accessible in the repository (such as via a persistent unique identifier)
    • Develop a timeline for data availability. Data must be shared by the end of the award period or at the first release of an associated publication, whichever comes first. 
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
    • Describe factors for subsequent data access, distribution, and reuse
    • State whether data derived from human subjects will be shared via controlled access  
  • Oversight of the DMSP
    • Explain how the DMSP is to be monitored and managed and by whom

Research Data Engineer

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Lauren Phegley

Lauren Phegley holds consultations on data management, DMPTool, writing Data Management Plans (DMPs), and data sharing.


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Lynda Kellam

Interim Director of Research Data & Digital Scholarship

See schedule button for current dates and times. Appointments available in person and on zoom.

Subjects: Data & GIS


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License 

This guide, the included recordings, and the included materials that are produced by Lauren Phegley of the University of Pennsylvania are licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

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