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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.

Documenting Your Plans for Data Sharing

The NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (see, in particular, Sections V-VII) requires all applicants planning to generate scientific data to prepare a data management and sharing (DMS) plan that describes:

  • The nature of the data and associated software
  • Methods for describing the data to facilitate reuse
  • The process of preserving the data and making it discoverable to others
  • Any restrictions applied to the sharing of the data
  • Provisions for ensuring that the DMS plan is adhered to

Completing the data planning steps outlined on the preceding pages of this guide will help facilitate the writing of the required DMS plan.

See NIH's Writing a Data Management & Sharing Plan page for more information, including submission details, plan format, sample plans, and assessment and revision processes.

The Elements of a DMS Plan

The following pages of this guide outline these six required elements of a DMS plan:

  1. Data type
  2. Related tools, software, and/or code
  3. Standards
  4. Data preservation, access, and associated timelines
  5. Access, distribution, or reuse considerations
  6. Oversight of data management and sharing

Each page focuses on a particular DMS plan element, explains what should be included in the plan with regards to that element, shows how to enter the description of the element in the DMPTool, and provides resources for further understanding.

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