Data Management and Sharing

Network data sharing

In NIH application packages, the Resource Sharing Plan has been the place to discuss plans for sharing final research data, model organisms, and genomic data. Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Plans are now included in Section 11. Other Plan(s). Plans for Genomic Data Sharing should be provided as part of the Data Management and Sharing Plan.

The Resource Sharing Plan section isn’t going away, but will now have slightly different content.

10. Resource Sharing Plans: This section should contain information on sharing of model organisms and research tools (cell lines, monoclonal antibodies, reagents, animal models, growth factors, combinatorial chemistry and DNA libraries, clones and cloning tools (such as PCR), methods, laboratory equipment and machines developed through NIH-sponsored research, etc.). If this applies to your research, write your plan or plans as a single attachment. It does not count toward the Research Strategy page limit. See the boilerplate section for specific instructions.

11. Other Plans: This is the spot for the new Data Management and Sharing Plan, which should be no more than two pages in length. NIH extramural grant and cooperative agreement activities must now comply with the NIH Data Management & Sharing (DMS) Policy if your research is funded in whole or in part by the NIH and results in the generation of scientific data.

In your DMS plan, you will identify appropriate methods/approaches and repositories for managing and sharing scientific data. The NIH provides an optional DMS Plan format page (see boilerplate), which includes all required information. See the NIH website for a range of sample DMS plans. University Technology also provides examples of language that could be used in DMS plans.

For CWRU proposals, the following standard language should be included in your Data Management & Sharing (DMS) plan under Element 6. For other institutions, you may need to contact your institution's office of grants and contracts for institution-specific language.

The Principal Investigator will oversee the management and sharing of data during the study process. Effective January 25, 2023, Case Western Reserve University will require the Principal Investigator to certify at the times of annual progress report and final report that the NIH-approved data sharing and management plan(s) has/have been followed. Case Western Reserve University’s Office of Research Administration will periodically audit the NIH-approved data sharing and management plans for adherence.

Frequently Asked Questions About Data Management and Sharing

What kind of data needs to be shared?

Scientific data includes any data needed to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications. Scientific data does not include laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, completed case report forms, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, communications with colleagues, or physical objects such as laboratory specimens.

How will I cover the costs of data sharing?

In your budget you will estimate and request funds for data management and sharing activities, if not already covered by institution or other sources.

When should data be shared?

Shared scientific data should be made accessible as soon as possible, and no later than the time of an associated publication, or the end of performance period, whichever comes first.

Do I have to use a data repository?

Under the 2023 Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy, NIH encourages investigators to use an established repository. While encouraged, you are not required to use a data repository. Depending on the type of data your project generates, the size and scope of your datasets, and the sensitivity of your data, you can respond to separate user requests to share data or put data in an archive or restricted access facility. When selecting a repository, investigators should choose based on factors such as the sensitivity of the data, the size and complexity of the dataset, and the volume of requests anticipated. Need help finding or choosing a data repository? See Selecting a Data Repository. You can also use SparcRequest to arrange a consult with the CTSC’s Informatics team to discuss your options.

How do I balance the push for data sharing with concerns about the privacy of my study subjects?

According to NIH’s DMS policy, your data-sharing plans should indicate the criteria for deciding who can receive your data and whether or not you will place any conditions on their use. Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the confidentiality of the data and privacy of participants. You should not place limits on the questions or methods others might pursue nor should you require co-authorship as a condition for receiving the data.

Visit the NIH Scientific Data Sharing website if you have additional questions, or schedule a CTSC Grant Development Consultation in SPARCRequest.

Do you have any tools to help me write a DMP?

DMPTool is a web application that helps researchers create a data management plan (DMP) for their grant application. It provides assistance throughout the process of writing a DMP, including advice about what to include in order to satisfy institutional as well as prominent granting agency requirements. Also included with the application are DMP templates from funding agencies and links to helpful resources. It also has direct links to funder websites, help text for answering questions, and data management best practices resources.

DMPTool was developed by a collaboration of university libraries, museums, and other organizations, and is ready-to-use by logging in with your CWRU ID.