NIH has issued the Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy (effective January 25, 2023) to promote the sharing of scientific data. Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery, in part, by enabling validation of research results, providing accessibility to high-value datasets, and promoting data reuse for future research studies.
Under the DMS policy, NIH expects that investigators and institutions:
The DMS Policy applies to all research that generates scientific data, including:
The DMS Policy does not apply to research and other activities that do not generate scientific data, including:
Some scientific data generated with NIH funds may be proprietary.
SMALL BUSINESS DATA
Under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive, effective May 2, 2019, SBIR and STTR awardees may withhold applicable data for 20 years after the award date, as stipulated in the specific SBIR/STTR funding agreement and consistent with achieving program goals. SBIR and STTR awardees are expected to submit a Data Management & Sharing Plan per DMS Policy requirements.
PRIVATE SECTOR CO-FUNDING
Issues related to proprietary data also can arise when co-funding is provided by the private sector (for example, the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries). The extent of data sharing may be limited by restrictions imposed by licensing limitations attached to materials needed to conduct the research. Applicants should discuss projects with proposed collaborators early to avoid agreements that prohibit or unnecessarily restrict data sharing. NIH staff will evaluate the justifications of investigators who believe that they are unable to share data.
For questions or concerns about data sharing expectations for proprietary data, please contact the Office of Science Policy.
Researchers MUST prepare and submit a data management and sharing plan as part of their grant application beginning January 25, 2023.