Skip to main content

DMS Policy FAQ

Has my funding institute developed specific guidance I should follow?

A list of policies is maintained on the NIH Institute and Center Data Sharing Policies website.

What information and resources are available from NIH to assist with DMS policy compliance?

For more information and resources to support all NIH data sharing policies, visit You also may contact for assistance.

What research data should I share?

Learn what types of research projects fall under NIH’s Data Management and Sharing Policy, and how NIH handles sharing of proprietary data at Research Covered Under the Data Management & Sharing Policy. Several different data types are likely to fall under this policy.

How do I determine which policies apply to my research?

NIH has a variety of sharing policies addressing topics from model organisms to publications. Learn more about these policies here and get help determining which policies apply to your research with this helpful tool from NIH.

How do I determine where to share my data?

In general, NIH does not endorse or require sharing data in any particular repository, although some initiatives and funding opportunities will have individual requirements. See Repositories for Sharing Scientific Data for a listing of NIH-supported data repositories. Overall, NIH encourages researchers to select the repository that is most appropriate for their data type and discipline. See detailed guidance at Selecting a Data Repository:

Additionally, Northwestern University is an institutional member of Dryad, a non-profit, community-governed data repository. Northwestern investigators have free-of-charge access to Dryad's data repository and curation services. Note: This repository is not acceptable for all data types or circumstances, particularly private or sensitive data. Direct specific questions to


Are there ever reasons to limit data sharing?

Yes – some of these reasons are listed below, although this list is not exhaustive.

  • The data submission is not consistent with applicable national, tribal, and state laws and regulations as well as relevant institutional policies
  • Data limitations on the research use of the data, as expressed in the informed consent documents
  • Identities of research participants would be disclosed to NIH-designated data repositories
  • An Institutional Review Board (IRB), and/or Privacy Board, and/or equivalent body, as applicable, has reviewed the investigator's proposal for data submission and will not assure that:
    • The protocol for the data is consistent with 45 CFR Part 46 (HHS regulations for the protection of human subjects in research);
    • Data submission and subsequent data sharing for research purposes are not consistent with the informed consent of study participants from whom the data were obtained;
    • Consideration was not given to risks to individual participants and their families associated with data submitted to NIH-designated data repositories and subsequent sharing;
    • To the extent relevant and possible, consideration was not given to risks to groups or populations associated with submitting data to NIH-designated data repositories and subsequent sharing;
    • The investigator’s plan for de-identifying datasets is not consistent with the DHHS and NIH standards and expectations.


How can I ensure my data is discoverable if my ability to share data is limited?

Feinberg investigators should contact the Galter Library DataLab to help you create a catalog record for your data. This record will contain descriptive information about your data and that will be placed in the Prism institutional repository. Prism complies fully with Desirable Characteristics for All Data Repositories.

Researchers outside of Feinberg should contact for a consultation on available options.

Where can I find help with budgeting for data management and sharing?

Data management and sharing may incur costs. The NIH developed guidance to estimate and request funds for data management and sharing activities. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine developed "Forecasting Costs for Preserving, Archiving, and Promoting Access to Biomedical Data" that may be useful when budgeting for data management and sharing costs, including a Checklist for Administrators, Cost Drivers Workbook, and Forecasting Data Costs for Researchers User Guide and Webinar, among others.

You may contact for assistance.

I want to use deposited data for my own research. How do I find relevant datasets?

Use DataCite Commons to search across all DOIs at DataCite Commons is an interface for the PID Graph, formed by the collection of scholarly resources such as publications, datasets, people and research organizations, and their connections.

NIH-affiliated data repositories can be accessed and browsed at or try Google Dataset Search or DataONE to search additional repositories.


Checklists and TemplatesNorthwestern Resources