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NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

UMass Chan guidance and resources for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy and writing NIH Data Management and Sharing Plans

NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy - Coming into effect January 25, 2023

  • ALL NIH funding applications or renewals that generate scientific data much include a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMS Plan). 
  • Successful applicants must comply with submitted DMS Plans.

NIH Sharing provides resources on the policy and data sharing from the NIH.

What is a DMS Plan?

A DMS Plan is an approximately 2-page document that outlines how research data will be managed, shared, and disseminated. NIH compliant DMS Plans should be approximately two pages and include information on the following elements: Data Type; Related Tools, Software and/or Code; Standards; Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines; Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations; and Oversight of Data Management and Sharing. Details on these elements, writing DMS Plans, and a DMS Plan template tool, DMPTool are available.

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 DMS Plan.  In addition, sharing plans must be communicated in informed consent documents. In the end, management processes for ALL data should be described in an NIH DMS Plan, but not all data must be shared.

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."

Why is the NIH making these changes?

The NIH is promoting good data management practices to enable data reuse for future research studies and encourage reproducible research in the interest of public health.

What about other NIH data sharing policies, like the Genomic Data Sharing Policy?

Your research may be subject to other data management and sharing policies from the NIH or other funding sources or publishers. Data management and sharing policies related to the funding you are applying for will be listed in the funding opportunity announcement.

NIH policies

Publisher Data Sharing Policies

How do I comply with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy?

  • Submit a DMS Plan as part of your NIH grant application including any additional requirements listed in the funding opportunity announcement. Include data management and sharing costs as part of the budget.
  • Follow the plan and submit any updates as needed to your program officer.
  • For data that the DMS Plan says will be shared:
    • At the time of publication, data related to a publication will need to be shared as described in the DMS Plan
    • At the end of the award period, data not yet shared will need to be shared as described in the DMS Plan

What are the impacts of non-compliance?

Non-compliance with an approved DMS Plan may be taken into account in for future funding decisions for the recipient institution.

Budgeting for Data Management and Sharing Costs

The NIH encourages researchers to budget for help with certain data management and sharing activities. Keep in mind that all costs must be paid prior to the end of period of performance and peer reviewers will review the budget justification, but this commentary won't impact the score.

  • Curating data
  • Developing supporting documentation
  • Formatting data according to accepted community standards
  • De-identifying data
  • Preparing metadata
  • Local data management considerations (before deposit into an established repository).
  • Preserving and sharing data through established repositories, such as data deposit fees.
  • Infrastructure costs that are included in institutional overhead (for instance, Facilities and Administrative costs) 
  • Costs associated with the routine conduct of research, including costs associated with collecting or gaining access to research data. 
  • Costs that are double charged or inconsistently charged as both direct and indirect costs.

Where to include costs in proposals

Allowable costs for data management and sharing should be included in the following ways depending on whether you are submitting your grant proposal with a detailed or modular budget:

  • Detailed Budgets (R&R Detailed Budget Form)
    • Single line item in Section F. Other Direct Costs
    • Entered as "Data Management and Sharing Costs"
  • Modular Budgets (PHS 398 Modular Budget Form)
    • Use the Additional Narrative Justification attachment
  • Budget Justification
    • A brief summary of the DMS Plan (type and amount of scientific data to be preserved and shared and name of repository being used) and a description of the requested Data Management and Sharing Costs must be included within the budget justification attachment
    • Recommended length is no longer than half a page
    • Labeled as "Data Management and Sharing Justification"

Data Management Support at UMass Chan

Lamar Soutter Library

  • Research data management consultations: Meet with a data librarian to discuss the data management needs for yourself, your lab, or center and they'll be able to recommend data management strategies and find a repository suited for your data.
  • Data management and sharing plan review: A data librarian can review your data management and sharing plan prior to submission of a grant application and provide feedback. Please allow ten working days for the review. Library staff will try to accommodate requests for review at short notice but this can not be guaranteed.
  • Share data through eScholarship@UMassChan: UMass Chan institutional repository, eScholarship@UMassChan, can serve as a home for research data being shared by UMass Chan faculty, staff, and students, and has many benefits including a persistent identifier (DOI) being provided for the data. For more information, please refer to the Data Deposit Policy.

Contacts: Tess Grynoch and Leah Honor

Research Technology

  • Discuss digital storage solutions for your research data
  • Create a REDCap Account
  • Set up and receive training on LabArchives Electronic Lab Notebook
  • Purchase discounted data analysis software


Quantitative Methods Core (QMC)

  • For assistance developing your DMS Plan along with your NIH proposal.


Research Informatics Core

  • Access clinical data
  • Deidentifying clinical data
  • Help with uploading clinical data for sharing (reformatting, etc.)
  • Consult with a member of the Core's team on your data management plan for clinical data


Institutional Review Board

  • Receive guidance on incorporating language about data sharing into informed consent documentation.


BRIDGE Innovation & Business Development

  • Receive guidance on sharing timelines for data associated with patentable research outputs.

Contact the team by filling out the BRIDGE Contact Form

Additional Resources