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NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

This guide includes resources for the new NIH data management and sharing (DMS) policy and DMS Plans. The policy affects all proposals submitted for deadlines on or after January 25, 2023.

Basic plan outline

In a supplemental document of two pages or less, address the following six sections:

  1. Data Type: Briefly describe the scientific data to be managed, preserved, and shared, including the data to be collected or used in the study; data to be preserved and shared; and documentation to be collected and shared with the data.

  2. Related Tools, Software and/or Code: An indication of whether specialized tools will be needed to access or manipulate the shared scientific data to support replication or reuse, and name(s) of the needed tool(s) and software.
  3. Standards: An indication of what standards 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). If the discipline of the research does not have a shared approach to data structures, the Plan may indicate that no consensus data standards exist for this scientific data and metadata.
  4. Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines: Plans and timelines for data preservation and access, including (a) specific repository or repositories where data will be shared (see tab on the left on repositories); what persistent identifier or other indexing tool will be provided to find and access the data; and when data will become available and for how long it will stay available.

  5. Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations: Any limits that will be placed on access, and why the limits are expected to be placed.
  6. Oversight of Data Management and Sharing: Indicate how and on what schedule the DMS Plan will be monitored and managed, and by whom.

Prefer a walk-through format? Try DMPtool

VCU is a participating institution with DMPTool. If you have never used DMP Tool before, choose Option 1 in the upper-right, then search for VCU. You can log in with your eID. From there, use these steps:

  1. Click create a plan, and then and enter NIH as the funder
  2. Use the "Write Plan" tab to see a step-by-step walkthrough plus links to guidance all in one place. This is a great way to practice the new planning process as you work through the format
  3. When you're ready to output your DMS Plan, go to the Download tab and set it to...
    • Format menu: PDF or Word
    • Project coversheet UNchecked
    • Section headings CHECKED
    • question text and unanswered questions UNchecked
    • Font: Arial
    • Size: 11 or 12
    • Margins all 13mm

For a tutorial video on using DMPTool for NIH DMS Plans can be found at For more advice and links, see