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Open Access and Data Sharing Mandates

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

NIH Sharing Policies

Data Management and Sharing

A new NIH policy regarding data management and sharing will go into effect for applications received on or after January 25, 2023. This new policy requires all applicants whose activities will generate scientific data (see "Research Covered" in links for specific grant types), regardless of the level of funding sought, to include a Data Management and Sharing Plan (DMSP) in their application that "addresses how scientific data and accompanying metadata will be managed and shared, taking into account any potential limitations or restrictions".* It also expects that "researchers will maximize the appropriate sharing of scientific data"* and encourages the use of established repositories for preserving and sharing scientific data. Shared scientific data should be made available no later than the time of an associated publication or the end of the performance period, whichever comes first. Specific NIH centers and institutes may have additional requirements for data management and sharing on top of the universal DMSP - it does not replace all existing data sharing policies.

*All quotes taken from the Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing.


The new DMS policy does:

  • Include data generated during the award period whether it is related to a publication or not (e.g. null results)

The new DMS policy does not:

  • Instruct researchers to deposit data in a specific repository, although ICO-specific policies may
  • Dictate a minimum data retention period
  • Mandate sharing of code or tools, nor does it apply to physical objects like reagents
  • Allow for recurring costs induced by data sharing to be incorporated in the grant budget, although the budget should include DMS costs


Open Access Manuscripts
As of 2008, all researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) must submit a final, peer-reviewed copy of their research papers to PubMed Central upon acceptance for journal publication, to be made publicly available within 12 months.  Researchers can either submit directly through the NIH Manuscript Submission System or arrange for their publisher to submit on their behalf.

Journal Data Policy Finder

This tool was created by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) Library and contains links to data management, sharing, and availability policies of publishers and publications in biomedical sciences and adjacent fields. These policies are not related to the NIH DMS Policy, but the scope of the journals is closely related to that of the NIH. As the guide to repository selection above indicates, you may want to take the policies of your intended journal into account when choosing a data repository.