The NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy aims to advance rigorous and reproducible research, while promoting greater public trust in research. The policy, which goes into effect January 25, 2023, will promote better data stewardship, where data management and sharing are viewed as integral parts of the research process and are adequately planned for from the beginning.
The policy states that all NIH-supported research, regardless of award amount, generating scientific data is required to have a Data Management and Sharing Plan. Important points to note:
- Plans are submitted with the application.
- Researchers should maximize appropriate data sharing.
- Compliance is expected and will be monitored at regular reporting intervals.
- The use of established data repositories is expected.
- Scientific data should be made accessible as soon as possible, shared no later than the time of an associated publication or at the end of a performance period.
The policy applies only to NIH-funded research that will produce scientific data. It does not apply to research and other activities that do not generate scientific data, including training, infrastructure development, and non-research activities.
Elements of a Data Management and Sharing Plan
The NIH released a supplementary document with information about what elements are expected to be in a Data Management and Sharing Plan. These elements should comprise two pages or less, and should include:
- Data type
- Related tools, software and/or code
- Data preservation, access, and associated timelines
- Access, distribution, or reuse considerations
- Oversight of data management and sharing
CLICK HERE to see examples of Data Management and Sharing Plans, from successful NIH proposals submitted by UMMS investigators (level 2 login required).
How is the new policy different from previous NIH policy?
The new NIH Data Management and Sharing policy…
- Applies to all projects that will produce scientific data, not just those research proposals seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs.
- Provides more guidance regarding the contents of the plan.
- Explicitly states that there are allowable costs which should be written into the budget.
- Compliance will be more rigorously monitored.
- NIH recognizes that data sharing may be complicated or limited by institutional policies, local IRB rules, as well as by local, state, and Federal laws and regulations like the Privacy Rule.
Research Data Stewardship Initiative
The U-M Research Data Stewardship Initiative is taking the lead on helping investigators and administrators navigate the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy, and a number of helpful resources have been assembled on this webpage.