NIH Data Management Sharing (DMS) Plan FAQs

*In effect on/after January 25, 2023*

For questions or assistance with creating a DMS Plan, please reach out to Jen Ferguson from the NU Library: .

Additional information from the NU Library regarding DMS Plans can be found here .

What is a DMS Plan?

A plan describing how scientific data will be managed, preserved, and shared, considering any potential restrictions or limitations. A DMS Plan should be no more than two pages in length and have the following elements :

  • Data Type(s)– what will be preserved and shared
  • Standards – standards applied to scientific data/metadata
  • Data preservation, access, timelines – repository used, persistent unique identifier, when/how long data will be available
  • Access, distribution, reuse considerations – description of factors for data access, distribution, or reuse
  • Oversight of data management and sharing – plan compliance will be monitored/managed and by whom
When must a DMS Plan be submitted?

A DMS Plan must be submitted prior to the start of a research study or project. The policy applies to all NIH-supported research that results in the generation of scientific data, regardless of funding mechanism. A DMS Plan should be submitted as follows:

  • Extramural (grants)
  • Extramural (contracts)
  • Intramural
  • Other funding agreements
When are DMS Plans going to become mandatory?

The new policy is effective January 25, 2023.

How does the DMS Policy impact the current 2003 Data Sharing Policy?

The 2003 Data Sharing Policy went into effect on October 1, 2003 and will end on January 25, 2023 when the DMS Policy goes into effect. Below are the main differences between the two policies:

Expectations under NIH’s Data Sharing Policy
Expectations Under NIH’s Data Management & Sharing Policy (2023)
Include a data sharing plan in research proposals seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs describing how final research data will be shared. Alternatively, the investigator is expected to explain why data sharing is not possible.Submit a Data Management and Sharing plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared, considering any potential restrictions or limitations.
Release and share the data, as described in the approved application, no later than the acceptance for publication of the main findings from the final dataset.Comply with the Data Management and Sharing plan approved by the funding Institute or Center (IC).
Report any progress made on data sharing progress in the annual submission of their Research Progress Performance Report (RPPR).
Should private information be included in the DMS Plan?

No, private and/or controlled information should not be included in the DMS Plan.

What activities are subject to the DMS Policy?
  • Applies to all research generating scientific data, including but not limited to:L
    • Research projects
    • Certain Career Development Awards (Ks)
    • Small Business (SBIR/STTR)
    • Research Centers
  • Does not apply to research projects not generating scientific data or non-research projects, including but not limited to:
    • Training (T)
    • Fellowships (Fs)
    • Construction (C06)
    • Conference Grants (R13)
    • Resources (Gs)
    • Research-Related Infrastructure Programs (e.g., S06)

Research Covered Under the Data Management & Sharing Policy

What are the compliance and enforcement requirements?
  • Extramural Awards: The Plan will become a Term and Condition of the Notice of Award. Failure to comply with the Terms and Conditions may result in an enforcement action, including additional special terms and conditions or termination of the award, and may affect future funding decisions.
  • Contracts: The Plan will become a Term and Condition of the Award, and compliance with and enforcement of the Plan will be consistent with the award and the Federal Acquisition Regulations, as applicable.
  • Intramural Research Projects: Compliance with and enforcement of the Plan will be consistent with applicable NIH policies established by the NIH Office of Intramural Research and the NIH ICO.
  • Other funding agreements: Compliance with and enforcement of the Plan will be consistent with applicable NIH policies.
Will NIH be monitoring DMS Plans?

Yes, NIH will be monitoring if award recipients follow through with their DMS Plan. DMS Plans will become a term/condition of the award. Failure to comply with the DMS Plan may result in enforcement action (i.e., possibly affect future funding decisions).

What will NIH pay for?
  • Allowable costs
    • Curating data/developing supporting documentation (i.e., Deidentifying data)
    • Preserving/sharing data through repositories
    • Local data management considerations
    • Must be incurred during the performance period
  • Unallowable costs
    • General infrastructure costs typically included in indirect costs
    • Costs associated with the routine conduct of research (costs of gaining access to the research data)
Are all DMS Plans the same?

No, each plan describes how an applicant will share their final research data. Specifics vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of data being shared and how the investigator plans to share the data.

Will persistent identifiers be required?

No, but NIH strongly encourages them for identifying data. More information on persistent identifiers can be found here . Additionally, NIH has a list of Repositories for Sharing Scientific Data that they support.

Are hyperlinks allowed in a DMS Plan?

No, hyperlinks are not allowed in a DMS Plan. However, once the DMS Plan is approved, shared hyperlinks will be allowed to be used in progress reports.

Is there a DMS Plan template that will be available for use or reference?

Yes, currently NIH has released a draft of the optional DMS Plan format template . A finalized template will be released later this year.

Will Genomic Data Sharing (GSD) Plans still be required by NIH?

No, NIH will no longer require submission of separate GSD Plans. Instead, one plan where applicants describe genomic data sharing within their DMS Plan elements will be required.

Where can I find more information about NIH DMS Plans?

You can visit the NIH Scientific Data Sharing Website for more information.

How does Northeastern confirm my compliance with the DMS Plan on file with the NIH?

The NU-RES Research Administration (RA) team asks the PI to confirm that they are complying with the most recent NIH-approved DMS plan and that no changes have been made on an annual basis during RPPR review. Changes in plans should be submitted to NIH for approval prior to taking effect. If changes occurred, NU-RES will work with the PI ensure NIH approval is obtained.