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Complying with the New NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy

NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

The new NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy went into effect on January 25, 2023. Learn more about the policy at the links below.

Creating a Data Management and Sharing Plan

The NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy requires researchers to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) for any project that generates scientific data. Scientific data are defined as data that are "commonly accepted in the scientific community as sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings." It does 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." Plans are NOT part of the scored peer review criteria unless specifically noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

The policy applies to the following:

  • Research projects
  • Some Career Development Awards (Ks)
  • Small Business SBIR/STTR
  • Research Centers

Under the new policy, Data Management and Sharing Plans should include the following components:

  • Type of data to be collected
  • Related tools, software and/or code
  • Standards
  • Data preservation, access, and associated timelines
  • Access, distribution, or reuse considerations
  • Oversight of data management and sharing

Sample DMSPs provided by NIH can be found here. Since USC policies and procedures may vary, it is not advised that researchers copy and paste any part of these examples into their own plans.

DMPTool, available at, is a free online resource you can use to create a data management plan or data management and sharing plan that meets specific funder requirements. DMPTool includes data management plan templates for many funders, including one that complies with the new NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy. Learn more about DMPTool by watching this short video.

Sharing Research Data

There are many open access repositories where federally funded research data can be shared. The new NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy provides guidance for sharing research data collected or created during the course of NIH-funded research.