The best time to formulate a data management and sharing plan is before you start to collect research data. Having a management plan in place before the study begins ensures the data will be organized, well documented, and stored securely during the project and long after it is completed. Waiting until the end of a project often results in lost data, lack of notes, or sometimes a lack of proper permissions to even analyze and publish a particular dataset. In addition, funding agencies increasingly require data management and sharing plans to be included with grant applications to promote open science and improve rigor and reproducibility. Developing a data management plan from the start requires effort, but it will save you valuable time and effort down the road.


NIH Data Management and Sharing Plans

Under the new 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, all applicants planning to generate scientific data must prepare a DMS Plan describing how the scientific data will be managed and shared. In preparation for the new NIH DMS policy, the NIH released a new scientific data sharing website in April 2022, providing guidance on how to write a data management and sharing plan. In August 2022, the NIH released an Implementation Details Notice (NOT-OD-22-189) providing an optional DMS Plan format page which will be converted to a final fillable format page by Fall 2022.

Applications subject to NIH’s Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy should also address GDS-specific considerations within the elements of a DMS Plan.

Note that funding opportunities or ICs may have specific expectations (for example: scientific data to share, relevant standards, repository selection). View a list of NIH Institute and Center data sharing policies. Investigators are encouraged to contact program officers with questions about specific ICO requirements.


NIH Genomic Data Sharing Plans

To reduce the burden on applicants and staff, NIH harmonized sharing plans with a single data sharing plan at time of funding application satisfying both the Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy and the DMS Policy (NOT-OD-22-198). Therefore, on or after Jan. 25, 2023, separate GDS Plans WILL NOT be accepted.

Genomic data sharing considerations, such as where and when genomic data will be shared, will be expected to be addressed in DMS Plans using the DMS Plan elements.


DMPTool

DMPTool

While different funders have different requirements around what a plan should look like, the DMPTool, a free web-based tool created and maintained by the California Digital Library (CDL), can help investigators compose a plan that meets the requirements of their specific funder. Sign in through Washington University’s DMPTool affiliation using your WUSTL Key and follow these instructions on how to use the DMPTool to get started.

The DMPTool provides general boilerplate text and guidance based on specific funding-agency requirements in a simple-to-use online template. As of August 2022 the DMPTool has 43 funder-specific templates. That number will continue to grow as more funding agency templates and NIH IC-specific policy components are added to the general NIH-DMSP template. Funder-specific requirements compiled by the DMPTool can be found here and you can also visit our Data Management and Sharing Policies page to learn more. While templates in the DMPTool are based on the requirements listed in the funder’s policy documents, researchers should consult the program officers and policy documents directly for authoritative guidance.

In March 2022, the DMPTool added “featured” public plans to highlight example data management and sharing plans that people can use as a reference when writing their own plan. Instructions for how to use example plans can be found here: “How to Find Example plans in the DMPTool.”

Another advantage of using the DMPTool is that it allows you to request feedback from your institutional DMPTool admins directly within the DMPTool before finalizing your plan. Washington University institutional DMPTool admins are located in Becker Library at the School of Medicine and University Libraries on the Danforth Campus.

You can also register your data management and sharing plan and get a DMP ID to make it a networked or machine actionable DMP (maDMP). The DMP ID will serve as a persistent unique identifier that can be used in your grant application as well as biosketches. The requirements to register your DMP ID include the following:

  • Answered at least 50% of questions
  • Identified your funder
  • Linked your DMPTool account to your ORCID via your Third party applications page
  • Plan is not a mock project for testing, practice, or educational purposes
  • Once the steps above are satisfied, a button to register your plan will appear in a tab in the Create Plan module called “Finalize/Publish”.

To start writing a plan, please follow the detailed instructions on how to use the DMPTool or watch the WashU DMPTool workshops video recordings and slides below. If you have any further questions or need help, please submit an online consultation request form by selecting the DMPTool.

WashU DMPTool Workshops

Washington University researchers are encouraged to submit DMS plans that are part of funded grant submissions to the WUSTL Grants Library sponsored by the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.  Complete the WUSTL Grants Library Consent Form in order to submit your DMS plan and grant.


Sample DMS Plans

NIH Sample DMS Plans

The following sample Data Management and Sharing Plans (DMSPs) are provided by NIH as examples of how a DMS Plan could be completed in different contexts, conforming to the six elements required in a DMSP according to the 2023 NIH DMS policy (NOT-OD-21-014). These sample DMS Plans are provided for educational purposes to assist applicants with developing Plans but are not intended to be used as templates, and their use does not guarantee approval by NIH.

Disclaimer: Some of these NIH sample plans contain language that will not be relevant to all sponsoring institutions.  For example, PIs at WashU are responsible for oversight of data management and sharing and complying with the approved DMSP.  Therefore, Element 6 of the DMSP should describe how the PI, not WashU’s Office of Sponsored Research Services (OSRS), will monitor and manage the DMSP. Please contact OSRS with any questions.

SampleDescriptionNIH Institute or Center
Sample Plan 1Clinical and/or MRI data from human research participantsNIMH

Sample Plan 2
Genomic data from human research participantsNIMH
Sample Plan 3Genomic data from a non-human sourceNIMH
Sample Plan 4Secondary data analysisNIMH
Sample Plan 5Human Genomic dataNHGRI
Sample Plan 6Technology developmentNHGRI
Sample Plan 7Human clinical and genomics dataNICHD
Sample Plan 8Gene expression analysis data from non-human model organism (zebrafish)NICHD
Sample Plan 9Human survey dataNICHD
Sample Plan 10Genomic Data from Human Research Participants ExamplesNIDDK
Sample Plan 11Clinical Data from Human Research ParticipantsNIDDK
Sample Plan 12Basic Research from a Non-Human Source ExampleNIDDK
Sample Plan 13Secondary Data Analysis ExampleNIDDK
Sample Plan 14Survey and Interview ExampleNHGRI
Sample Plan 15Human Clinical Trial DataNICHD
Sample Plan 16Clinical data from human research participantsNIA
Sample Plan 17Survey, interview, and biological data (tiered access)NIA
Sample Plan 18Non-human data (primates)NIA
Sample Plan 19Secondary data analysisNIA
Sample Plan 20Survey and interview dataNIA
Sample Plan 21Human clinical and genomic dataNIA
Sample Plan 22Non-human data (rodents)NIA
Sample Plan 23Clinical data (human biospecimens)NIA
Sample Plan 24Drug discovery including intellectual propertyNIA
Sample Plan 25HeLa Cell Whole Genome Sequence (DNA or RNA)OD, NHGRI
Note that the sample DMS Plans provided above may reflect additional expectations established by NIH or specific NIH Institutes, Centers, or Offices that go beyond the DMS Policy. Applicants will need to ensure that their Plan reflects any additional, applicable expectations (including from NIH policies and any ICO- or program-specific expectations as stated in the FOA).

Example DMS Plans in ICTS WUSTL Grants Library

In collaboration with ICTS and WUSM investigators, the Becker Data Management and Sharing group has gathered DMS plans submitted with grant applications on or after January 25, 2023 for inclusion in the ICTS WUSTL Grants Library. These plans have been reviewed by the Becker DMS staff and selected to be used as example DMS plans to help other WashU investigators when they write a DMS plan for the first time. Example DMS plans can currently be found in the Under Review folder. Example DMS plans will also be added to the Awarded folder once grants get funded, so please check back.

Example DMS Plans by Working Group on NIH DMSP Guidance

  • Searchable Catalog of DMPs: The example DMP directory was compiled from researchers, institutions, libraries, and workgroups who shared their data management plans online from 2012-2022. Since the initial launch of this searchable catalog in September 2022, more than twenty new DMS plans using the 2023 NIH DMSP format, including the NIH sample plans, have been added. In addition, the catalog has repository information readily visible in the table. We recommend that you sort the catalog by date in descending order to view the most recent sample plans using the new NIH DMSP format.
  • Converting a Resource Sharing Plan into a 2023 NIH DMSP format (Annotated Example DMP in NIH 2023 Format)