November 03, 2020

NIH Releases Final Data Management and Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released its Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, replacing its 2003 policy. The policy requires NIH-funded researchers to submit a plan detailing how scientific data will be managed and shared prior to applying for funds.

The NIH incorporated feedback over several years in creating the final policy through multiple public comment periods and a public webinar in 2019. Discussion centered on the definition of "scientific data" and the clarification on the sharing of such data, timing of submission of Data Management and Sharing Plans, and NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices' consistency of data-sharing expectations. Public comments also centered on when and where data are expected to be shared and its security.

The policy establishes the submission requirements of Data Management and Sharing Plans and compliance with NIH-approved plans. It also highlights the importance of good data management practices. The policy is applicable to research funded or conducted by NIH that results in scientific data.

The NIH plans to provide frequently asked questions and other information to aid in the policy’s implementation, prior to its effective date on Jan. 25, 2023.