Skip to Main Content

Managing Research Data from Start to Finish: Data Management Plans

This subject guide provides information on how to manage research data.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued its Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing Plans (DMSP) to promote the management and sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research. This policy will require the submission of Data Management and Sharing Plans at the time of grant application, effective January 25, 2023. Awardees are expected to carry out data management and sharing as outlined in approved plans and as a term and condition of award.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) also requires the use of Data Management Plans (DMPs), with their data sharing policy stating that "Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing." Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan". This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. More information is available here.

NSF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Public Access

DMP Resources

DMPTool: 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.

Data Management Skillbuilding Hub: a repository for open educational resources regarding data management, meaning that it is a collection of learning resources freely contributed by anyone willing to share them. Materials such as lessons, best practices, and videos, are stored in the DataONEorg GitHub repository as well as searchable through the Data Management Training Clearinghouse

NIH Data Management Plan and Sharing Guidance

Data Management and Sharing Plan Checklist for Researchers:  Developed by the NIH DMSP Guidance Working Group and intended for use while writing a Data Management and Sharing Plan for NIH grant applications. It provides guide points to be addressed during the writing process and is based on the six required elements.

Data Terms related to the NIH DMS Plan and Policy: a guide for definitions and descriptions of terms related to the sections (aka Elements) of the NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan.

Sample Plan created by the NIH DMSP Guidance Working Group: Converting a resource sharing plan into a DMS plan.

Sample Plans from NIMH: sample DMSPs that are consistent with the expectations in both the NIMH and NIH Notices. 

Example DMS Plan Directory: Publicly available data management plans intended to help researchers comply with the new NIH policy.

NIH Scientific Data Sharing - Writing a Data Management & Sharing Plan: Learn what NIH expects Data Management & Sharing plans to address.  Click on the image below to see a preview/draft of the NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan.

draft nih dmsp