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Michigan State University

Data Management Support for Health Sciences: Data Management and Sharing Plan Tools and Support

Health Sciences Data Management

Data Management Support

Under the 2023 Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy, NIH expects researchers to maximize the appropriate sharing of scientific data, taking into account factors such as legal, ethical, or technical issues that may limit the extent of data sharing and preservation.

NIH requires all applicants planning to generate scientific data to prepare a DMS Plan that describes how the scientific data will be managed and shared. For more on what constitutes scientific data, see Research Covered Under the Data Management & Sharing Policy.

During peer review, reviewers will not be asked to comment on the DMS Plan nor will they factor the DMS Plan into the Overall Impact score, unless sharing data is integral to the project design and specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Data Management and Sharing Plan Creation Tools

The NIH has created Sample Plans as examples of how a DMS Plan could be completed in different contexts, using the elements of the DMS Plan outlined.

DMPTool is a free, open-source, online application that helps researchers create data management plans (DMPs). These plans are now required by many funding agencies as part of the grant proposal submission process. The DMPTool provides a click-through wizard for creating a DMP that complies with funder requirements. It also has direct links to funder websites, help text for answering questions, and data management best practices resources. MSU is an institutional member with DMPTool, you can log in with your MSU NetID, though you can use DMPTool without institutional affiliation.


Dryad The Dryad Digital Repository is a curated resource that makes research data discoverable, freely reusable, and citable. Dryad provides a general-purpose home for a wide diversity of data types. MSU is a membership institution of Dryad, and you can log in with your MSU NetID or via ORCID.

NIH Data Management Elements

These are the elements a DMS Plan should address. The NIH recommends these to be two pages or less in length.

  • Data Type
    • Describe the scientific data to be managed or shared. Summarize types, describe what scientific data will be preserved and shared. Include brief listing of the metadata and other associated documentation (like study protocols or data collection instruments)
  • Related Tools, Software and/or Code
    • Include whether specialized tools are needed to access data, especially for replication or reuse, and the names of tools or software
  • Standards
    • Include what standards will be applied to the data and metadata. This includes things like data dictionaries, definitions, and other documentation
  • Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines
    • Outline your plan and timeline for data preservation and access. Include the name of the repository where the data will be archived, how the data will be findable and identifiable, and when the data will be made available to others and for how long
    • NOTE: The NIH encourages data to be shared "as soon as possible, and no later than the time of an associated publication or end of the performance period, whichever comes first."
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
    • Describe any factors that affect access, distribution, or reuse of data, including informed consent, privacy considerations,  how human data will be controlled, any federal, state, or tribal restrictions, and anything that might limit the extent of data sharing
  • Oversight of Data Management and Sharing
    • Describe how the DMS plan will be monitored and managed over the course of the project