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Research Guides

Research Data Management: Prepping: NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan

Guide of resources related to the many aspects of research data management. Data management encompasses the processes surrounding collecting, organizing, describing, sharing, and preserving data.


Starting January 25, 2023 all NIH-funded research must comply with the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (DMSP).

See the official NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy here: Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (NOT-OD-21-013)


NEW! UW now has a membership with the generalist data repository Dryad. See our guide to see if Dryad is the right place to be depositing your data.


What You'll Find in This Guide

One-pager describing the new policy in brief: download PDF here.newNIHpolicy2023

What's in a DMSP?

The DMSP must include the following key elements and should be concise (2-pages or fewer). Plans should be updated throughout the award.  

  • Data Type
    • Identify the types of data and how data will be managed, preserved, and shared
  • Related Tools, Software, or Code
    • Identify any tools needed to access or manipulate data
  • Standards
    • Identify standards for the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data documentation, unique identifiers)
  • Data Preservation, Access and Associated Timelines
    • Identify a repository (see below for guidance)
    • Create a unique identifier for dataset (often assigned by repository automatically using a DOI; can also be created by UW Libraries)
    • Develop timeline for data availability. Data must be shared no later than publication of findings or by the end of the award (for unpublished data). 
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
    • Describe factors for subsequent data access, distribution, and reuse
  • Oversight of the DMSP
    • Explain how the DMSP will be monitored and managed and by whom

What Does This Mean for Me?

What do I have to do?  As a part of all new funding applications, you must make all scientific data 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. This includes many UW faculty and researchers. 

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. 

Do you also have a peer-reviewed, public access article to deposit to PubMed Central? See our guide on the NIH Public Access Policy.

Data Repositories

With regards to storage, preservation, and sharing, the NIH has also released supplemental information intended to help researchers choose a data repository, as well as a table that provides a list of NIH-supported scientific data repositories.

Generally speaking, NIH recommends:

  1. Using the repository specified by your program 
  2. If #1 isn’t specified, researchers are encouraged to select a repository that has NIH desired characteristics, such as:
    1. Discipline or data-type specific repositories (see examples at
    2. If a) isn’t available, then the following is suggested
      1. PubMed Central for small datasets (up to 2GB)
      2. Generalist and institutional repositories, such as UW’s ResearchWorks
      3. Cloud-based data repositories for large datasets

For more information on creating your own Data Management Plan, or any other area of the data management process, contact the Scholarly Communication and Publishing (SCP) Team at


UW Libraries provides researchers the ability to create and manage Data Management Plans using DMPTool. DMPTool walks users step-by-step through the requirements for a variety of funders, provides examples, and exports a text-based data management plan that can easily be inserted into a grant. To get started, login at, choose the University of Washington as your institution, and enter your NetID and password.

If you’d like Scholarly Communications and Publishing to help you create a custom template for your department, lab, or research projects, email

Where Can I Get Help?

Where can I get help?

UW Libraries Data Services Team:

  • Help understanding details of the requirements
  • Writing the data management and sharing plan
  • Selecting a data repository
  • Referrals

Human Subjects Division

  • IRB questions
  • Consent form reviews
  • Questions about sharing data with sensitive or personally identifiable information

Local data storage

  • UW-IT

Office of Research


Research Data Services Librarian

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Jennifer Muilenburg
Subjects: Data Resources