NIH Data Sharing Plan Guide: Example Sharing Plans

Data Sharing Plan Samples from Virginia Tech

Please contact for past Data Sharing Plan samples written by VT researchers. Some samples will be shared as part of consultation and review process.

Example Plans from NIH

The DMPTool customized for Virginia Tech researchers is another resource you can use when creating your Data Sharing Plan. The Writing Data Sharing Plans page of this guide provides information about the DMPTool and further guidance.

Example Plan #1

Sharing of data generated by this project is an essential part of our proposed activities and will be carried out in several different ways. We would wish to make our results available both to the community of scientists interested in [this disease] and the biology of [its causative agent] to avoid unintentional duplication of research. Conversely, we would welcome collaboration with others who could make use of the vaccine assessment protocols developed in [the project]. Our plan includes the following:

Presentations at national scientific meetings

From the projects, it is expected that approximately four presentations at national meetings would be appropriate. There is an annual [Disease] Study Group meeting, of which the PI is secretary. This one-day meeting of interested persons presents new information on a variety of topics related to [the disease]. It is expected that the investigators from this [project] will be active participants of this focused group.

Annual lectureship

A lectureship has brought to the University distinguished scientists and clinicians whose areas of expertise were relevant to those interested in [the disease]. Lecturers have been [list of names]. Visiting lecturers will be scheduled to interact with the investigators of the project as appropriate with their specific areas of expertise which will provide an opportunity for members to present their work to the visitor.


The [disease interest group] publishes a newsletter which currently has a circulation of [number]. The newsletter's intent is to disseminate new information regarding [the disease]. The activities and discoveries of [the project] will be allocated 20% of the newsletter's coverage.

Web site of the Interest Group

The [interest group] currently maintains a Web site where information [about the disease] is posted. Summaries of the scientific presentation from the [quarterly project] meetings will be posted on this Web site, written primarily for a general audience. [Link to Web site]

Annual [Disease] Awareness week

Beginning this fall during the week of [date], the [interest group] will be sponsoring a [Disease] Awareness week. As part of that program, there will be a research poster display with discussions. In future years, [the project investigators] will be active participants in this program.

SAGE Library Data

[This project] will generate data from several SAGE libraries. It is our explicit intention that these data will be placed in a readily accessible public database. All efforts will be made to rapidly release data through publication of results as quickly as it is possible to analyze the experiments. Data used in publications will be released in a timely manner. SAGE data will be made accessible through a public site that allows querying as has been set up for a similar project. This site can be accessed at [link to Web site].

Example Plan #2

The proposed research will include data from approximately 500 subjects being screened for three bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at an inner city STD clinic. The final dataset will include self-reported demographic and behavioral data from interviews with the subjects and laboratory data from urine specimens provided. Because the STDs being studied are reportable diseases, we will be collecting identifying information. Even though the final dataset will be stripped of identifiers prior to release for sharing, we believe that there remains the possibility of deductive disclosure of subjects with unusual characteristics. Thus, we will make the data and associated documentation available to users only under a data-sharing agreement that provides for: (1) a commitment to using the data only for research purposes and not to identify any individual participant; (2) a commitment to securing the data using appropriate computer technology; and (3) a commitment to destroying or returning the data after analyses are completed.

Example Plan #3

This application requests support to collect public-use data from a survey of more than 22,000 Americans over the age of 50 every 2 years. Data products from this study will be made available without cost to researchers and analysts. User registration is required in order to access or download files. As part of the registration process, users must agree to the conditions of use governing access to the public release data, including restrictions against attempting to identify study participants, destruction of the data after analysis is completed, reporting responsibilities, restrictions on redistribution of the data to third parties, and proper acknowledgement of the data resource. Registered users will receive user support, as well as information related to errors in the data, future releases, workshops, and publication lists. The information provided to users will not be used for commercial purposes, and will not be redistributed to third parties.

Example Plan #4

The proposed research will involve a small sample (less than 20 subjects) recruited from clinical facilities in the New York City area with Williams syndrome. This rare craniofacial disorder is associated with distinguishing facial features, as well as mental retardation. Even with the removal of all identifiers, we believe that it would be difficult if not impossible to protect the identities of subjects given the physical characteristics of subjects, the type of clinical data (including imaging) that we will be collecting, and the relatively restricted area from which we are recruiting subjects. Therefore, we are not planning to share the data.

Examples 1-4 were made available by the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research, Washington University in St. Louis.

Example Plan #5

The data generated in this grant will be presented at national or international conferences and published in a timely fashion. All final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from this proposal will be submitted to the digital archive PubMed Central. Wherever applicable, data will be deposited to appropriate public repositories. The Sequence Read Archive (SRA) at NCBI allows researchers to archive sequence read data and quickly access known data and their associated experimental descriptions (metadata). We will follow the NCBI SRA submission protocols and use Aspera client to automatically submit the RNA-Sequencing data, metadata and analysis results. We will deposit miRNAs and miRNA-target transcriptome data generated from various developmental stages of the sea urchin embryo (Project 3) into the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). The transcriptome data from the huntington study (Project 1) will be deposited to GEO, the HDBase (–a community website for Huntington's Disease research, and locations as specified by the journals at the time of publication. In addition, open-source computational software programs developed in this program will also be available from the project web portal. Specialized reagents and resources will similarly be deposited. For instance, the hybridoma cells generating monoclonal antibodies against the sea urchin Argonaute protein(Project 3) will be
deposited in the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank (DSHB), which banks and distributes monoclonal antibodies and their products to benefit the biology research community and facilitate research.

This example was made available by the Research Office, the University of Delaware.

Need Help?

We invite you to contact us with questions, for assistance in completing data sharing plans, or for options to include in your plan, such as data repositories in your field, standardized vocabularies and formats for data, creative commons licensing choices that specifically describe how data sets may be used by others, and data publication options.

  • Andi Ogier, Associate Director, Data Services Unit
  • Ginny Pannabecker, Health Sciences Research Support Coordinator; Health, Life Science & Scholarly Communication Librarian