Scientific Data Sharing

Sharing scientific data accelerates biomedical research discovery, enhances research rigor and reproducibility, provides accessibility to high-value datasets, and promotes data reuse for future research studies. As a steward of the nation’s investment in biomedical research, OSP develops policies that make research available to the public to achieve these goals.

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NIH Data Management and Sharing Activities Related to Public Access and Open Science

Validation and progress in biomedical research – the cornerstone of developing new prevention strategies, treatments, and cures – is dependent on access to scientific data.  Sharing scientific data helps validate research results, enables researchers to combine data types to strengthen analyses, facilitates reuse of hard to generate data or data from limited sources, and accelerates ideas for future research inquiries. Central to sharing scientific data is the recognized need to make data as available as possible while ensuring that the privacy and autonomy of research participants are respected, and that confidential/proprietary data are appropriately protected.

Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing Effective (1-25-23)

       Supplemental Information to the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing

       Additional Resources

       Under the Poliscope Blogs

NIH Data Science Policy Council

The NIH Data Science Policy Council (DSPC) is an internal NIH committee consisting of senior NIH and Institute and Center (IC) leaders and data scientists. The DSPC was created in 2017 as part of a restructuring of NIH programs and governance related to data science, aiming to provide a forum for trans-NIH data science policy development and oversight. The DSPC is intended to address the growing policy challenges and opportunities associated with ‘big data’ and data science (broadly defined) in biomedical research, thereby promoting maximum public benefit from data utilization in a manner that fulfills the agency’s principles toward responsible stewardship of data. This includes bioethical responsibilities to research participants and the general public with regard to data management, access, and sharing practices.

NIH Genomic Data Sharing

The NIH GDS Policy is effective for competing grant applications submitted for the January 25, 2015, receipt date; contract proposals submitted to NIH on or after January 25, 2015; and for intramural projects generating genomic data on or after August 31, 2015. The NIH GDS Policy applies to all NIH-funded research (e.g., grants, contracts, and intramural research) that generates large-scale human or non-human genomic data, regardless of the funding level, as well as the use of these data for subsequent research. Large-scale data include genome-wide association studies (GWAS), single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) arrays, and genome sequence, transcriptomic, epigenomic, and gene expression data.

Questions about the Policy can be e-mailed to

NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy

Engaging Tribal Nations on Data Management and Sharing

NIH strives to facilitate inclusion of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations in biomedical research studies, as this representation is critical for ensuring that scientific discoveries can be translated into improved prevention and treatment strategies useful for the diverse needs of these communities. As part of NIH’s commitment and aligned with the goals outlined in the NIH Strategic Plan for Tribal Health Research, NIH seeks to engage communities in conversations around how to achieve its commitment to responsible data sharing, including through the development of culturally sensitive data management and sharing resources for NIH researchers where appropriate.

NIH respects that Tribal Nations are sovereign nations and established the NIH Tribal Health Research Office (THRO) to facilitate collaboration with Tribal Nations and ensure meaningful input is incorporated into NIH programs and policies. NIH initiated Tribal Consultation, per the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy and the NIH Guidance on the Implementation of the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy, to inform the Agency’s policy proposal on data management and sharing.

NIH considered all of the points heard from the Tribal Consultation when writing its DRAFT Policy on Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy), published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2019, with a closing date of January 10, 2020. NIH incorporated feedback from Tribes on the Draft Policy in the development of the final DMS Policy and supplemental information. The NIH Tribal Consultation Report – NIH Draft Policy for Data Management and Sharing describes the process and includes a summary and analyses of findings. Importantly, the final DMS Policy includes a statement that NIH respects Tribal sovereignty in the absence of written Tribal laws or policies.

While the DMS Policy itself does not go into significant depth on specific research areas because it is designed to be applicable to the entire portfolio of NIH-funded research, the preamble to the DMS Policy (the text that precedes the Policy), discusses in-depth NIH’s thinking on particular issues.

NIH looks forward to working with Tribal communities to develop resources for researchers that encourages them to, among other things:

  • Thoughtfully consider the unique data sharing concerns of Tribal communities;
  • Respectfully negotiate agreements for data use with Tribal nations; and
  • Enhance their awareness of processes Tribal nations use to review prospective research.