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NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

Supplemental Information and Requirements

In addition to the policy, the NIH has also published: ​

Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan​.

The Supplemental Information:​

  • specifies six "Elements to be Addressed [Elements]." ​

  • establishes a "two pages or less" limit​.

  • expresses the idea of the plan as a living document.

The Supplemental Information specifies six Elements:​

  1. Data Type:  What data/metadata will be generated, managed, preserved, and shared? ​ Briefly describe the scientific data to be managed, preserved, and shared, including the data to be collected or used in the study; data to be preserved and shared; and documentation to be collected and shared with the data.

  2. Related Tools, Software, and/or Code:  What tools/software are needed to support reproducibility?​   Include the name(s) of any specialized tools or software that will be needed to access or manipulate the shared scientific data to support replication or reuse.

  3. Standards:  What standards will be applied to the data and associated metadata?​  Include the standards that will be applied to the scientific data and associated metadata (i.e., data formats, data dictionaries, data identifiers, definitions, unique identifiers, and other data documentation). If the discipline of the research does not have a shared approach to data structures, the Plan may indicate that no consensus data standards exist for this scientific data and metadata.

  4. Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines:  

    • Repository​: include the specific repository or repositories where data will be shared.

    • Findability/Identifiability​:  include the persistent identifier or other indexing tool to find and access the data.

    • Access timing: specify when data will become available and for how long it will stay available.

  5. Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations:  Note any limitations or restrictions to data access and sharing and why such limitations or restrictions are necessary.

  6. Oversight of Data Management and Sharing:  Include how will the Plan be monitored (and the schedule of such) and by whom?.

The Supplemental Information specifies that the six " addressed in a Plan within two pages or less."

The Supplemental Information specifies that [A] Plan should "be updated during the course of the award/support period to reflect any changes in the management and sharing of scientific data (e.g., new scientific direction, new repository option, timeline revision)."