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NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP): NIH DMSP

This guide provides information for researchers submitting research proposals under the new NIH data sharing requirements: Effective January 25, 2023

NIH Data Management & Sharing Plan (DMSP)

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Debbie Bezanson
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George Washington University

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Washington, DC 20052


NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (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 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.  

What is included in a DMSP?

The DMSP must include the following key elements and should be concise (2-pages or fewer). Plans should be updated throughout the award.  

The NIH has created a new website with more detailed information about the DMSP. You can also read the Supplemental Information: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan for more details.

  • Data Type
    • Identify how data will be managed, preserved, and shared
  • Related Tools, Software, or Code
    • Identify any tools needed to access or manipulate data
  • Standards
    • Identify standards for the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data documentation, unique identifiers)
  • Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines
    • Identify a repository
    • Create a unique identifier for dataset (often assigned by repository automatically using a DOI)
    • Develop timeline for data availability. Data must be shared no later than publication of findings or by the end of the award (for unpublished data). 
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
    • Describe factors for subsequent data access, distribution, and reuse
  • Oversight of the DMSP
    • Explain how the DMSP be monitored and managed and by whom

For Assistance with Data Management Plans

Need help with research data management?

Contact us for support with any of these elements at or book an appointment with a data services librarian.


This guide based heavily on the NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan at Penn, authored by Lauren Phegley and Lynda Kellam.  Thanks Lauren and Lynda!  

Conversations with NIH

These videos provide an excellent overview and answer many of the common questions you may have about the new NIH DMSP policy.  

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Ann James
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+1 202-994-2216
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GW Libraries • 2130 H Street NW • Washington DC