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2023 NIH Data Management Sharing Policy

Writing a DMS Plan

The NIH has given specific required elements of every data management and sharing plan, which are described below. Samples and templates are also provided on this page. Note that every element may not be addressed equally for every project.

Elements of a Data Management and Sharing Plan

1. Data Type

  • Summarize the types (imaging, survey responses, etc) and amount (# of participants, estimated file size, etc) of data to be generated.
  • Describe which data will be preserved and shared. If any data is not being shared, specify why.
  • Briefly list metadata and other associated documentation that will be made available to facilitate data reuse.

2. Related Tools, Software, and/or Code

  • Specify if any specialty software, tools, or custom code are needed to access and use your data. 

3. Standards

  • Describe what standards (if any) will be applied to the data and associated metadata. Metadata standards are often determined by your choice of repository.

4. Data Preservation, Access, and Associate Timelines

  • Name the repository where you will be sharing your data.
  • Specify how your data will be findable and identifiable, such as through the use of DOIs and metadata. This is often determined by your choice of repository
  • When the scientific data will be made available to others and for how long. Identify any differences in timelines for different subsets of data.

5. Access, Distribution, and Reuse Considerations

  • Describe any factors affecting subsequent access, distribution, or reuse of scientific data. This includes informed consent, privacy protection, as well as any legal, technical, or ethical limitations
  • Specify if access to data will be controlled, such as through using a controlled-access repository. If so, state how the data will be controlled.
  • Specify how your research handles protections for privacy, rights, and confidential of human research participants, such as through de-identification practices.

6. Oversight of Data Management and Sharing

  • Specify how compliance with the DMS plan will be monitored, including frequency of oversight and by whom.

DMS Plan Samples and Templates