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Open Access and Data Sharing Mandates

Learn how to comply with open access and data management and sharing requirements.

What NIH ICO staff have communicated about DMSPs

On December 14th, 2023, staff from multiple NIH ICOs (Institutes, Centers, and Offices) presented feedback based on analysis of the first year of Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) submissions at a webinar discussing outcomes of experimental DMSP templates used by the Federal Demonstration Partnership. NIH staff spoke to DMSPs as a whole, not just ones generated through the experimental FDP templates.

A recording of the webinar will be added to the "Learning" section of the website, under the heading Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Town Hall #3where the slide deck is currently available.

Some themes were:

  • Between 1/4 and 1/5th of DMSPs were considered unacceptable. This was usually because not all Elements were addressed, or because the plan was out of compliance with the DMS Policy.
    • Saying "data will be shared upon request" will result in an unsuccessful DMSP.
    • Likewise, "data will be shared by publishing findings in a paper" will result in an unsuccessful DMSP.
  • The ICOs are looking for things in DMSPs that are not explicitly spelled out in the policy, nor are they always included in sample DMSPs provided by NIH.
    • One example of this is the expectation to include an estimated amount of data in MB/GB/TB for each data type in Element 1.
  • Element 4 is very important and should inform your decisions about data standards, formats, and more. The POs and committees evaluating DMSPs are looking for the plan to name a specific data repository.
    • Furthermore, NIH is firm about wanting data to go into data repositories. A statement that data would be shared via GitHub was grounds for NIMH to give the plan a bad evaluation (sharing code on GitHub is good, however). It is probably that other ad hoc ways to share data, such as on a lab website or via an ELN, will also be negatively received.
  • ICO expectations for elaboration on tools necessary to access data vary.
    • NCI expects software and tools to be named, and for it to be clear how they are obtained and if they're free or have a cost.
    • NIMH is not concerned with if tools are free, but want any new software created for the project to have a plan to be made available to the public.

March 27th 2024 Webinar - The NIH DMS Policy @ 1 Year