Research Resources

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy Overview

NIH has issued the Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy (effective January 25, 2023) to promote the sharing of scientific data. Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery, in part, by enabling validation of research results, providing accessibility to high-value datasets, and promoting data reuse for future research studies.

Under the DMS policy, NIH expects that investigators and institutions:

Individual NIH Institutes, Centers, or Offices may have additional policies and expectations (see NIH Institute and Center Data Sharing Policies).

Download a simplified version of the Data Management and Sharing Policy Overview Page

Submission & Review of DMS Plans

Applicants planning to generate scientific data will submit DMS Plans to NIH as part of the funding application or proposal.  Note that plans are NOT part of scored review criteria unless specifically noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.  NIH Program Staff oversee reviewing and approving Plans prior to award.

If the DMS Plan provided in the application cannot be approved based on the information provided, applicants will be notified that additional information is needed. This will occur through the Just-in-Time (JIT) process. Applicants will be expected to communicate with their Program Officer and/or Grants Management Specialist to resolve any issues that prevent the funding IC from approving the DMS Plan. If needed, applicants should submit a revised DMS Plan. Refer to NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.5.1 Just-in-Time Procedures for additional guidance.

Data Management and Sharing Plan Format

DSM Plans are recommended to be two pages or less in length.  NIH has developed an optional DSM Plan format page that aligns with the recommended elements of a DMS Plan. NIH has provided sample DMS Plans. Important:  Do not include hypertext.  (e.g., hyperlinks and URLs) in the DMS plan attachment.

Elements to Include in a Data Management and Sharing Plan

As outlined in NIH Guide Notice Supplemental Policy Information: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan, DMS Plans should address the following recommended elements and are recommended to be two pages or less in length. As described in the Application Guide, the DMS Plan should be attached to the application as a PDF file.

  1. Data Type:  Briefly describe the scientific data to be managed and shared.
  2. Related Tools, Software and/or Code:  Indicate whether specialized tools are needed to access or manipulate shared scientific data to support replication or reuse, and name(s) of the needed tool(s) and software. If applicable, specify how needed tools can be accessed.
  3. Standards:  Describe what standards, if any, will be applied to the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data identifiers, definitions, unique identifiers, and other data documentation).
  4. Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines:  Give plans and timelines for data preservation and access.
  5. Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations:  Describe any applicable factors affecting subsequent access, distribution, or reuse of scientific data.
  6. Oversight of Data Management and Sharing:  Indicate how compliance with the DMS Plan will be monitored and managed, the frequency of oversight, and by whom (e.g., title, roles). This element refers to oversight by the funded institution, rather than by NIH. The DMS Policy does not create any expectations about who will be responsible for Plan oversight at the institution.
For example:
The following individual, XXXX, Principal Investigator of the project at XXXX Hospital will ultimately be responsible for data collection, management, storage, retention, and dissemination of project data, including updating and revising the Data Management and Sharing Plan when necessary, and will report on data sharing and compliance in the annual project progress reports. Research Project Coordinator in Dr. XXXX's lab, will also maintain the Data Management and Sharing Plan, and coordinate permissions with data repositories.

Sharing Scientific Data

Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery, enhances research rigor and reproducibility, provides accessibility to high-value datasets, and promotes data reuse for future research studies. Under the NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy, investigators are empowered to choose the most appropriate methods for sharing scientific data. Learn more about methods for data sharing and selecting data repositories.

Post-Award Plan Revisions

Although investigators submit plans before research begins, plans may need to be updated or revised over the course of a project for a variety of reasons for example, if the type(s) of data generated change(s), a more appropriate data repository becomes available, or if the sharing timeline shifts. If any changes occur during the award or support period that affects how data is managed or shared, investigators should update the Plan to reflect the changes. It may be helpful to discuss potential changes with the Program Officer. In addition, the funding NIH ICO will need to approve the updated Plan. NIH staff will monitor compliance with approved DMS Plans during the annual RPPR process as well.

Provide updates on data management and sharing activities in annual progress reports.

For more information, contact: Jason T. Machan, Ph.D., Director, Lifespan Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Research Design, and Informatics (BERDI), 401-639-3942

More Research Resources

This list of resources below was curated by Sarah B. Andrea, PhD, MPH. Last revised November 2021.

Diamond Portal

Clinical researchers can now access and share professional development offerings and resources on the NIH-funded Development, Implementation, and AssessMent Of Novel Training in Domain-based competencies (DIAMOND) Portal.  DIAMOND is a collaborative discovery learning space for clinical research professionals and other members of research study teams. Training and assessment items included in the DIAMOND collection are searchable by competency domain and provide information and links to offerings for study teams.

Guides for critically evaluating the quality of health studies

** I also find these these checklists helpful when devising analytic plans, drafting manuscripts, and performing peer-review

Existing health datasets for secondary analyses

Data Management, Analysis & Visualization


Statistical Software: R

Statistical Software: Stata

Resources for writing up the manuscript

General manuscript composition

Presenting results

Special Topics

Discipline Specific Guides


Allyship/Antiracism in Health Research

Miscellaneous Epidemiology & Public Health Resources

  • Population Health Exchange (PHX): Update your population health skill set or deepen your understanding of the pressing public health issues of our time with these tools and resources.
  • Columbia SPH keeps and updates great descriptions and additional resources regarding important and emerging population health techniques and the tensions that may arise in the selection and application of appropriate techniques. 
  • EpiToDate is an effort to curate, catalog, annotate and share useful, interesting and relevant resources in epidemiology and allied fields in a compact easy-to-read format.