January 25, 2023

NIH implements Data Management and Sharing Policy

Today marks the implementation date for the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy. Nearly eight years in the making, this policy requires researchers to submit a plan for all applicable research outlining how scientific data and accompanying metadata will be managed and shared. Implementation of this policy further reinforces NIH’s commitment to integrate effective data management and sharing practices into the process of scientific discovery.

Getting to this day would not have been possible without the shared commitment from many different communities throughout the years. I believe the policy strikes the right balance between reasonable expectations for data sharing and flexibility to allow for diverse data types and circumstances. The DMS policy establishes the expectation that data sharing is a fundamental component of the research process and maximizes the public’s access to research results that arise from NIH-funded research. NIH encourages the research community to embrace DMS plans as a new normal of research grant planning and administration.

In the time since the DMS policy was issued on October 29, 2020, NIH has participated in dozens of meetings, webinars, conferences, and other events preparing the research community for implementation. The final policy and associated resources for implementation greatly benefited from the informed feedback we received. This engagement also informed the development of a suite of resources to help the research community navigate this new requirement. NIH will continue to engage the community moving forward to ensure this policy achieves its stated goals.

The extraordinary speed at which COVID-19 vaccines and treatments were developed demonstrates the power of data sharing to catalyze groundbreaking research. By committing to responsible data management and sharing, the research community is pledging to accelerate scientific discoveries and medical breakthroughs that benefit all Americans. 

Lawrence A. Tabak, DDS, PhD
Performing the Duties of the NIH Director