NIH DMS Policy

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently finalized the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy). Starting January 25th, 2023, the DMS Policy will apply to all new funding applications and renewals. This means that investigators and institutions who wish to receive funding from the NIH will have to comply with the DMS Policy’s requirements.

So, what does the DMS Policy expect from investigators and institutions? In short, the NIH wants to see proper management and sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research. This includes the submission of a Data Management and Sharing Plan.

Additionally, the DMS Policy emphasizes the importance of good data management practices and establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data, with justified limitations or exceptions (confidentiality, privacy regulations, etc). 

Under the DMS policy, NIH expects that investigators and institutions:

  • Plan and budget for the managing and sharing of data
  • Submit a DMS plan for review when applying for funding
  • Comply with the approved DMS plan


Complying With the NIH DMS Policy

In general, institutions can comply with the NIH DMS policy by following these steps:

1. Develop a data management plan: Your data management plan outlines how you will manage and share the data generated by your research. This plan should be submitted with your grant application and should be updated as needed throughout the course of the research. NIH recommends that data management plans do not exceed two pages in length and should include a description of the following:

  • The data type(s) that will be managed and shared
  • The tools being used to manage, access and share the scientific data. 
  • The standards (if any) that will be applied to the scientific data and metadata (data formats, data dictionaries, data identifiers, definitions, unique identifiers, and other data documentation)
  • Plans and timelines for data preservation and access
  • Applicable factors affecting the access, distribution or reuse of scientific data as it relates to compliance with privacy and legal restrictions
  • How the DMS plan will be monitored and managed, the frequency of oversight and by whom (title, roles).

2. Store your data securely: Use appropriate methods and technologies to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the data being generated and stored. This may involve using secure storage systems, such as cloud-based storage or password-protected databases.

3. Share your data in a timely manner: The NIH DMS policy requires that you make the data generated by your research available to other researchers in a timely manner. This may involve sharing your data through a public repository or other means and providing access to the data in a way that allows others to reproduce and build upon your research.

4. Comply with any applicable laws and regulations: When sharing your research data, it’s important to comply with any applicable laws and regulations, such as those related to intellectual property, privacy, and data security. This may involve obtaining appropriate permissions from participants, protecting sensitive information, and complying with any other legal requirements.

5. Monitor and update your data management plan: Finally, it’s important to regularly monitor and update your data management plan to ensure that it continues to meet the requirements of the NIH data management and sharing policy. This may involve making changes to your plan as your research progresses, and updating your plan to reflect any changes to your research methods or data.


How can LabKey help?

Research institutions have been trusting LabKey with their data management needs since 2003. Our products have been designed in collaboration with researchers to ensure we provide functionality that meets the data management needs of scientific researchers. LabKey can help your institution comply with the NIH DMS policy by:

  • Capturing and managing any type of scientific data in a secure central repository
  • Controlling the access to research data with fine-grained permissions and capturing a full audit log of actions taken within the system.
  • Publishing and sharing your data publicly or with select researchers/team members

Learn more about our products: Lab Management Software