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NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: FAQ

Provides information on the NIH policy updates for data management plans and sharing, effective January 25, 2023. Lack of compliance can lead to a delay in receipt of funds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I have to do? As a part of all new funding applications, you must also make all scientific data available generated in the course of NIH-sponsored research openly available for view and reuse. You must also submit a Data Management Plan as a part of your application for funding which outlines what steps will be taken to preserve and share your data. 

Why is the NIH doing this? The NIH believes that 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.

Who does this apply to? The new Data Management and Sharing Policy applies to all investigators funded in whole or in part by the NIH. 

What is meant by scientific data? From the Policy: “The recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications." Scientific data do 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.”

When do I have to share my data by? No later than date of associated publication OR end of award/support period (whichever comes first) data must be made available online in either a subject or generalist repository.