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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Where can I find more information about data management and sharing at NIH?

To learn more about data sharing at NIH, see the NIH Sharing Policies and Related Guidance on NIH-Funded Research Resources and the NIH Data Sharing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

2. Why should I share my scientific data?

NIH has a longstanding commitment to making the results and outputs of NIH-funded research available to the public through effective and efficient data management and data sharing practices. Data sharing enables researchers to rigorously test the validity of research findings, strengthen analyses through combined datasets, reuse hard-to-generate data, and explore new frontiers of discovery. In addition, NIH emphasizes the importance of good data management practices, which provide the foundation for effective data sharing and improve the reproducibility and reliability of research findings.

3. Should I include a Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plan in my NIH grant application?

The effective date of the new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS), is January 25, 2023. Prior to this date, DMS Plans are required for large budget applications (over $500,000 direct costs), or when the funding announcement specifies a requirement for a DMS Plan. After this date, the new DMS policy applies to:

  • competing grant applications that are submitted to NIH for the January 25, 2023 and subsequent receipt dates.
  • proposals for contracts that are submitted to NIH on or after January 25, 2023.
  • NIH Intramural Research Projects conducted on or after January 25, 2023.
  • other funding agreements (e.g., Other Transactions) that are executed on or after January 25, 2023, unless otherwise stipulated by NIH.

The Data Management and Sharing Policy applies to all research generating scientific data that is funded or conducted, in whole or in part, by NIH. This includes research funded or conducted by extramural grants, contracts, intramural research projects, or other funding agreements regardless of NIH funding level or funding mechanism. The Data Management and Sharing Policy does not apply to activities that do not generate scientific data, including training, infrastructure development, and non-research activities.

To learn more about NIH expectations, visit the Research Covered Under the Data Management and Sharing Policy website.

4. What do I need to include in my Data Management and Sharing Plan?

Under the Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, NIH requires researchers to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan that, as the name implies, details how they plan to manage scientific data generated by research projects and which of these scientific data and accompanying metadata will be shared. When drafting Plans, NIH expects researchers to maximize the appropriate sharing of scientific data, acknowledging certain factors, e.g., legal, ethical, or technical, that may affect the extent to which scientific data are preserved and shared. For further details on what to include in the Plan, visit the NIEHS Data Management and Sharing Plan Development webpage.

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