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NIH Data Management and Sharing

The NIH endorses the sharing of final research data. If you are applying for direct costs of $500,000 or more in any single year you need to include a data sharing plan in your application. Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery

What is a Data Management Plan?

A data-management plan explains how researchers will handle their data during and after a project, and encompasses creating, sharing and preserving research data of any type, including text, spreadsheets, images, recordings, models, algorithms and software. It does not matter whether the data are generated by large pieces of research equipment, such as imaging tools or particle accelerators, or from straightforward field observation.

Many funders are asking grant applicants to provide data plans. Requirements vary from one discipline to another. But in general, scientists will need to describe before they begin any research what data they will generate; how the data will be documented, described, secured and curated; and who will have access to those data after the research is completed. They must also explain any data sharing and reuse restrictions, such as legal and confidentiality issues. 

NIH Scientific Data SharingVisit NIH's Writing a Data Management & Sharing Plan page to see how to write a data sharing plan, examples and how to submit the data management sharing plan.

DMP Tool

DMP Tool

The DMPTool is a free, open-source, online application that helps researchers create data management plans. The tool provides a click-through wizard for creating a DMP that complies with funder requirements. It also has direct links to funder websites, help text for answering questions, and data management best practices resources.


Additional Resources