NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy: Doing

A guide to help you prepare for NIH's Data Management & Sharing Policy. The policy is in effect for funding applications received on or after January 25, 2023.


Managing and Sharing Research Data

The information on this page summarizes essential elements of NIH's 2023 Data Management & Sharing Policy that apply to the awarded proposal and post-award stages of your project.


Who is responsible for managing and sharing my data?

Every member of a research team can play a role in managing research data. Data management is a complex activity that requires early planning, clarity on required activities, standardized procedures, and assignment of roles at appropriate levels of responsibility. With your team, begin planning for your data before you have any data to manage.

Where can I learn more?


Borghi, J., & Van Gulick, A. (2022). Promoting Open Science Through Research Data Management. Harvard Data Science Review, 4(3).

Briney, K.A., Coates, H., & Goben, A. (2020) Foundational Practices of Research Data Management. Research Ideas and Outcomes,6(e56508).


What do I have to do?

  • Perform the actions you described in your approved Data Management and Sharing Plan.
  • Include data management and sharing activities in your annual progress reports.
  • During your project, work with an NIH Program Officer for review and approval of any necessary changes to your plans for data management and sharing.


When must I share data?

Data sharing must take place at the soonest of:

  • Publication of findings in a peer-reviewed journal OR
  • End of the award

A realistic scenario would involve sharing data associated with each publication over the term of the award and sharing any additional data that falls under the Data Management and Sharing Plan by the end of the award.

For how long must my data be available?

NIH generally requires that research program records be retained for a minimum of 3 years after a grant closes (8.4.2 Record Retention and Access, NIH Grants Policy Statement). However, contracts for individual projects, institutions, and repositories may have different requirements and researchers can choose to make data available beyond the required period.


Where do I share my data?

In most cases, NIH avoids requiring a specific repository for data sharing. Researchers are encouraged to choose the repository that best fits their discipline and their data. For example, some repositories are capable of handling sensitive data that requires limited access, while other repositories only accept data that can be publicly shared with no limitations.

What do I look for in a repository?

NIH Supplemental Information NOT-OD-21-016: Selecting a Repository for Data Resulting from NIH-Supported Research contains a list of desirable characteristics for all data repositories, including repositories that store sensitive data.

Where can I learn about available repositories?


How do I comply with my plan?

Work with your research team to manage data during the project using the approaches and tools described in your plan. Typical data management tasks include:

  • Organizing files and directories and using systematic file and directory names
  • Documenting data elements, data provenance, analysis steps, procedures, protocols, and any other information needed to reproduce and understand the data
  • Preserving data during the project's active phase by using reliable storage mechanisms and regular backup strategies

Share data, metadata, and other documentation via your selected repository/repositories during and/or at the end of your project. Work with your chosen repository/repositories to meet metadata requirements and obtain digital unique identifiers. Repositories accepting sensitive and genomic data may have additional requirements that will vary depending on the repository.

Where can I learn more?

Overview of strategies for data management:

In-depth resources and training on data management and sharing: