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NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

This guide supports researchers' efforts to comply with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. It offers step-by-step guidance on how to plan for data sharing and write a data management and sharing plan to meet NIH requirements.

What to Include in Your Plan

General Considerations

The "Data Type" element of your data management and sharing plan should include the following details:

  • Types and amount of scientific data to be generated and/or used in the research project
  • Data modalities (e.g., imaging, genomic, mobile, survey); levels of aggregation (e.g., individual, aggregated, summarized); and/or degrees of data processing as appropriate
  • The data from the project which will actually be preserved and shared, with reasoning based on ethical, legal, and technical factors
  • Metadata and other documentation (e.g., study protocols and data collections instruments) that will be made available to aid the interpretation of the data
Genomic Data

For genomic data subject to NIH's Genomic Data Sharing Policy, see the "Data Submission and Release Expectations" webpage for specific data types that should be described in your data management and sharing plan.

Note that after January 25, 2023, NIH will be harmonizing sharing plans and will no longer be collecting separate Genomic Data Sharing plans.


Metadata elements are typically specified by data repositories as part of their data submission processes (e.g., see dbGaP's Study Submission Guide). Data repositories also often specify particular file formats. See the "Planning Step 3: Select a Repository for Your Data" page of this guide for information about choosing repositories.

What You Will See in the DMPTool

The DMPTools's section on the "Data Type" element includes text boxes for documenting data in general terms, for specifying which data will be shared, and for indicating what documentation will be made available to aid in the use of the data.

Accompanying each box is sample language and targeted guidance from NIH, JHU Data Services, and the DMPTool.

See the "Planning Step 5: Consider Using the DMPTool to Write Your DMS Plan" page of this guide for more about the DMPTool.

The DMPTool's "Data Type" section