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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP)

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (2023)

This page is intended to inform the MCW 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 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 documents. In the end, ALL data must be managed, even if not all data can be shared.

In order for sharing to be appropriate, some justifiable ethical, legal, and technical factors for limiting data include:

  • Informed consent will not permit or limits scope of sharing or use
  • Privacy or safety of research participants would be compromised and available protections insufficient
  • Explicit federal, state, local, or Tribal law, regulation, or policy prohibits disclosure
  • Restrictions imposed by existing or anticipated agreements with other parties

Reasons that would not be considered justifiable to limit sharing include:

  • Data are considered to be too small
  • Data that researchers anticipate will not be widely used
  • Data are not thought to have a suitable repository

Frequently Asked Questions from the NIH

NIH responses to FAQs on NIH 2023 Data Management & Sharing Plan Policy. These responses are current as of December 22, 2022.


Grateful acknowledgement to the University of Pennsylvania Penn Libraries for their permission to use and modify their template: NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP) 

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