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NIH Data Management & Sharing (DMS) Policy

Finding a Repository

The NIH recommends the following strategies for selecting a repository, in order of preference:

  1. Use the repository specified by the funding ICO, if applicable
  2. Select a disciplinary repository, where data with similar characteristics has already been archived
  3. Select an established generalist repository or institutional repository
  4. If the data is...
    1. Small (less than 2.0 GB): Data can be included as supplementary material to PubMed Central article submissions
    2. Large (greater than ~300 GB): Consider using a cloud-based repository
The sections below provide more details about each option for finding a repository. For more information:

ICO Repository

Some NIH funding mechanisms have established their own data repository or endorse the use of a specific disciplinary repository.

Does this apply to your grant?

❖ Review the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for your grant
❖ Ask the staff of your funding ICO
❖ Check the filterable table of NIH-supported data repositories, which includes a column for the associated ICO:

Disciplinary Repository

Finding a disciplinary data repository has many similarities to selecting a journal for a publication. In both cases, there are numerous options that have been developed to meet the unique needs of research disciplines.

To locate a disciplinary repository:

❖ Check the filterable table of NIH-supported data repositories:
     Note: some may be restricted use by funding mechanism
❖ Search for a repository using the Registry of Research Data Repositories:
❖ Ask colleagues in your field to learn whether they are already using and/or familiar with a relevant data repository
❖ Contact the University Libraries Research Services team for a consultation:

Generalist Repository

Emerging or interdisciplinary areas of research may not have an appropriate disciplinary repository as an option. In these cases, generalist repositories—those that accept data from all fields—may be a good alternative.

There are several options for generalist repositories:

❖ If the data can be shared openly:

See More: Dryad Guidance for De-Identification of Human Subjects Data

❖ If the data needs to be restricted access:

❖ For additional options, review other repositories participating in the NIH Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI):

❖ Contact the University Libraries Research Services team for a consultation:

PMC Supplementary Material

Small datasets (less than 2.0 GB) may be submitted as supplementary material to PubMed Central article submissions. For instructions on submitting supplementary materials, see the PubMed Central Policies webpage.

Cloud-Based Storage

For very large data (greater than ~300 GB), the NIH recommends considering cloud-based options for sharing data. If this applies to your dataset:

❖ Consult with your local IT staff about options available to your unit.

• Not sure who to contact? can direct you.

❖ Consider suggesting NIH STRIDES, a program providing discounted access to commercial cloud providers for NIH researchers