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NIH Data Management and Sharing Guide: Home

To help Virginia Tech researchers understand Libraries' resources to assist them in complying with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

Beginning January 25 2023, NIH will have a new Data Management and Sharing Policy. This policy requires

  1. inclusion of data management and sharing plans at time of proposal submission

  2. “...in drafting [these] plans, researchers will maximize the appropriate sharing of [research] data acknowledging certain factors (i.e., legal, ethical, or technical) that may affect the extent to which [research] data are preserved and shared”

Virginia Tech university-wide guidance on meeting this policy is available at https://lib.vt.edu/research-teaching/data-services/NIH-data-management.html

Contact dataservices@vt.edu for on-campus assistance in meeting the requirements of this policy.

NIH provides information on and guidance about meeting this policy, including a list of potential repositories for sharing data, at https://sharing.nih.gov/. There may be additional data management and sharing directives from the NIH Institute or Center, and/or within the solicitation.

Creating Data Management and Sharing Plans (1)

Contact dataservices@vt.edu for on-campus assistance in creating an effective and comprehensive data management and sharing plan for your proposed research

For information about on-campus data management planning assistance and campus resources, go to https://guides.lib.vt.edu/RDM_assistance.

NIH provides information on and guidance about meeting this policy, including expected elements of these data management and sharing plans, at https://sharing.nih.gov/. There may be additional data management and sharing directives from the NIH Institute or Center, and/or within the solicitation.

To minimize researcher burden, complete your NIH data management and sharing plan using this NIH-provided template. When your proposal to NIH is awarded you may be able to attach your data management and sharing plan to your Virginia Tech IRB data collection protocol in lieu of filling out the protocol’s data management and sharing sections.

Maximizing sharing of data generated in the proposed research (2)

To maximize sharing of research data with published manuscripts and/or at the end of the project, it is important to plan for this sharing at the beginning.

Intentions for sharing research data are to be included with the data management and sharing plan. These intentions should include the access controls (if any) placed on data to be shared, plans for de-identification of the data, and any repositories to be used for provision of long-term access.

Do not feel obligated to plan to share publicly everything generated at the onset of this policy. Publicly sharing some data, even just the data underlying published figures, is better than sharing none at all.

Consider a) what data products will best support your published and presented research within your research community, and b) the sensitivity of the data to be shared. Data collected from human subjects, or data that support proprietary or national security research, require special consideration before public sharing.

Contact dataservices@vt.edu for on-campus assistance in determining when, what and how data can be shared. They can also help you with finding appropriate repositories for your data, and can also publish your datasets in the Virginia Tech Data Repository.

Sharing human participants data

Research participants must be made aware through the informed consent process as to how data collected from them will be shared. Be as explicit as possible in informing your research subjects about what will happen with their data. NIH provides guidance on creating consent language that allows for future data use.

NIH and Virginia Tech recognize that not all human participants data can be shared, even if de-identified. Sharing de-identified individual-level data can create risks of identification of research participants if not done properly. As a starting point, consider sharing aggregate data only, or data underlying figures in publications or presentations.

If human participants data has been de-identified and individual-level data will be shared broadly, these participants should be informed that there is a small chance that they could be re-identified. No data collected from human participants can be totally anonymized.

For advice on de-identification of your human subjects contact dataservices@vt.edu and the Privacy and Research Data Protection Program. Per Virginia Tech Policy 130015 it is the responsibility of the researcher/PI to steward and share their data appropriately.

When reviewing your protocol, Virginia Tech IRB will assess your data sharing plans. If your NIH data management and sharing plan is formatted using the NIH-provided template you may be able to attach your data management and sharing plan to your Virginia Tech IRB data collection protocol in lieu of filling out the protocol’s data management and sharing sections.