What You Need To Know About the New NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy
October 5, 2022
If you intend to submit a National Institutes of Health (NIH) application next year, you should know there are big changes coming. It’s been on the horizon for several years, but the new NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy will go into effect starting with applications received on or after January 25, 2023. Responsible data management and sharing has many benefits, including accelerating the pace of biomedical research, enabling validation of research results, and providing accessibility to high-value datasets.
You may be asking yourself what this means for you as an applicant. Depending on your prior experience with DMS, the change may be subtle to dramatic. You will now be required to include a brief plan (about two pages) that addresses six separate elements. Those include the type of data to be shared; any tools, software, or code needed to access or manipulate the data; standards that will be applied to the data and associated metadata; plans for data preservation and access; applicable factors impacting access to or reuse of the data; and how compliance with the new policy requirements will be monitored and managed over time. NIH has launched a new website to help investigators understand the requirements of this new policy.
The policy as set forth by NIH establishes the minimum criteria that must be met. However, the various Institutes and Centers at NIH have the option to layer on additional requirements based on their specific needs. At the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), we have deliberately chosen to go with the “standard” version, which means no additional criteria will be in place for applications submitted to NCCIH.
While we are not developing any additional requirements, we have still been very busy preparing for this new policy. We have developed a new DMS section on our website to help our applicants. This resource includes a tool to help applicants develop their DMS plans. It also includes a comprehensive table summarizing several generalist repositories and descriptions of the types of data typically contained in the repositories to help you choose the right one for the type of data you are generating.
As always, we are here to help. If you have questions about how to develop and submit your DMS plan or how these plans will be assessed and monitored, we encourage you to review resources on the NIH and NCCIH websites; recorded webinars and future training opportunities are posted on the NIH DMS Learning webpage. If you are still unclear, feel free to reach out to your NCCIH program director or submit your question to us through the DER Inquiries mailbox. As with any change in policy, there will be a period of adjustment, but we are confident the payoff will be well worth the effort.
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