The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS policy), which requires NIH-funded researchers to submit a plan outlining how the scientific data derived from their research will be managed and shared.  The DMS policy becomes effective January 25, 2023, replacing the current NIH data sharing policy, which remains in effect until that date.

The DMS policy was developed over the course of several years, offering opportunities for stakeholders and members of the general public to comment on and shape the policy.  The final DMS policy emphasizes the importance of good data management practices, while optimizing the sharing of scientific data at the same time.  Provisions have been made to allow for justified limitations and exceptions to data sharing.  The DMS policy applies to all research funded by the NIH, as well as research conducted by the NIH, that results in the generation of scientific data.

According to Dr. Carrie Wolinetz, Associate Director for Science Policy at the NIH, the new DMS policy “represents the agency’s continued commitment to share and make broadly available the results of publicly funded biomedical research.  We hope it will be a critical step in moving towards a culture change, in which data management and sharing is seen as integral to the conduct of research.”

FASEB Launches Data-Sharing Initiative!

FASEB recently launched FASEB DataWorks!, a new initiative aimed at accelerating and enhancing research discoveries through better data sharing practices.  Among its components, this initiative features a Fellows program, data help desk and knowledgebase, and an annual grand challenge prize.  In addition, FASEB DataWorks! will sponsor a series of free online salons to foster conversations exploring key facets of data sharing.  The next salon, DataWorks! Data Management Plan Challenge, will take place December 14, 2021 at 2:00pm Eastern Time.

Meeting Registration

The DMS policy has two main requirements: (1) submission of a data management and sharing plan and (2) compliance with the approved plan.  Under the new DMS policy, researchers will need to submit their data management and sharing plan along with their application for extramural NIH grants.  NIH does recognize that science evolves throughout the research process.  They have therefore built in the ability to update data management and sharing plans as the research plans themselves change and evolve.

DMS plans should be no more than two pages, addressing the following elements:

  • Data Type: Description of the scientific data to be managed, preserved, and shared.
  • Related Tools, Software, and Code: Explanation of any specialized tools needed to access or manipulate shared scientific data.
  • Standards: Description of common data standards, if any, applied to the scientific data and associated metadata.
  • Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines: List of repositories where data will be archived as well as documentation of how data will be discoverable and when it will be made available.
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations: Explanation of any issues affecting subsequent access, distribution, or reuse of data.
  • Oversight of Data Management and Sharing: Plans for how compliance will be monitored and managed.

To help researchers fully prepare for implementation of the new DMS policy, NIH has developed supplemental information: Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan, Allowable Costs for Data Management and Sharing, and Selecting a Repository for Data Resulting from NIH-Supported Research.

ASN believes the new DMS Policy will foster and accelerate new research discoveries in nutrition science as well as in biomedical research in general.  We therefore urge our members who conduct research to learn all they can to ensure an easy transition to the new DMS policy and to take advantage of FASEB DataWorks!, to help you prepare for this transition. Please reach out to Sarah Ohlhorst, ASN’s Chief Science Policy Officer, with any questions regarding the new NIH DMS Policy.