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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.

Alphabet soup! DMSP, DMS, DMP, DSMP and more

One challenge in data management and sharing is that "data management" means different things to different people. This problem gets even worse when we abbreviate data terminology to acronyms. It's important to use the right DMSP for the right job.

  • DMSP, a Data Management and Sharing Plan (NIH): A 2-page supplemental document at proposal submission describing expected data management practices in order to optimize reusability of data and when possible to lead to data sharing processes, starting 2023
  • DSMP, a Data and Safety Monitoring Plan: A plan used in human subjects research involving greater than minimal risk. See VCU IRB WPP number X-2-3.2 for policies related to creating a DSMP. 
  • DSMB, a Data and Safety Monitoring Board: An independent committee that carries out important aspects of study monitoring in human subjects research involving greater than minimal risk. See VCU IRB WPP number X-2-3.1 for policies about the DSMB (and WPP number VII-2.4 also mentions DSMBs)
  • DMP for Data Management Plan may mean:
    • A data management plan for security: Comes from VCU's Information Security Office and This security plan is essential to protecting privacy, but does not address post-closeout data sharing for grant DMP/DMSP sharing.
    • A data management plan submitted as a supplement with a federal grant proposal. This kind of DMP describes the management of data and metadata for purposes of preservation and sharing of data.
  • DMS, the Data Management System at VCU, at Platform at VCU's information security office for determining appropriate tools and platforms for securely storing data. It can be used to identify systems, create a security-focused data management plan, and file the security DMP with the security office for approval
  • DMPtool, at A system for writing data management plans or data management and sharing plans to supplement federal funding applications
  • DSP, a Data Sharing Plan (NIH): A 2-page supplemental document at proposal submission describing expected data sharing processes, to be retired in 2023 and replaced with the new, farther-reaching DMSP
  • DUA or DSA, a data use agreement or data sharing agreement: A license or contract between a sharer and a sharee of data, describing the terms under which the data are being shared. This specific document of terms may be used in support of restricted data sharing.