Changes are coming to the National Institutes of Health grant application process - Author Services

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Changes are coming to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application process

New and renewed applications will need to include a data management and sharing plan

Beginning Jan. 25, 2023, researchers applying for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to submit a data management and sharing plan (DMSP) with their new or renewed application. This policy change reflects the Institute’s longstanding commitment to make the results of the research it funds publicly accessible.

Taylor & Francis welcomes this policy change as it aligns with our own commitment to promote and support open research. Read more about our response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy memo, another important step towards leveraging open research to advance science and deliver change.

So, what does this change mean for researchers applying for funding and publishing their work with Taylor & Francis? The resources on this page explain more about the policy update and how to navigate this part of your publishing journey.

NIH webinars

Earlier in 2022, the NIH held two webinars to help researchers understand and be prepared for the policy change. Watch the replays to get detailed information on what it might mean for you.

From grant application to publication: a basic step-by-step of the new process

Apply to NIH for funding and include a two-page data management and sharing plan.
Remember, this applies to all new and renewed application made on or after Jan. 25, 2023.

If your application is successful and you are awarded NIH funding, conduct your research and keep your DMSP updated throughout.

When your research is complete, upload all your data to a repository (even datasets that you aren’t using to draw your research conclusions).
Make sure the repository complies with the NIH guidance, and also the data sharing policy for the publication you plan to submit to. This can vary between journals, and F1000 has its own policy, too.

Submit your research for publication. Include a Data Availability Statement which contains a link to your dataset, and also cite the data in your reference list.
Make sure you check the specific policies that apply to the publication you’ve submitted to, and make sure you’re meeting the greatest requirement. This may be the NIH policy, or it may be the journal/F1000 policy.

If your research is accepted and published, all appropriate links will be in place and your data will be publicly available for others to validate and replicate.

What information should I include in my data management and sharing plan?

The primary purpose of your data management and sharing plan is to explain how, where, and when your research data will be shared.

The DMSP you include in your NIH funding application should be no more than two pages long, and should include details of:

  • The type(s) of data that will be included

  • If any specialized tools or software are needed to access or use the data

  • What standards you will apply to the scientific data and associated metadata

  • Information on data preservation, including where you will archive your data, how it will be findable, and when it will be available

  • Any factors that may affect access to the data, such as consents, or legal protections and restrictions

  • How compliance with your plan will be monitored and managed.

Vector illustration of an open laptop with graphs on the screen, and a bar chart to the left of the laptop, two characters are standing around the laptop, one is holding a giant pink magnifying glass.

Visit the NIH Scientific Data Sharing website for lots of excellent guidance on how to write your DMSP, and what to do if you need to revise the plan during the course of your research project.

Why is the NIH making submission of a DMSP a requirement?

“Our goal is to lead a cultural shift that makes data sharing the norm.”

Dr. Lyric Jorgenson, Acting Associate Director for Science Policy and Acting Director of the NIH Office of Science Policy

The quote above comes from the NIH Office of Science Policy blog Gearing Up for 2023: Implementing the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy, which explains why the policy has come about, and how the NIH is supporting researchers to meet the new requirements.

The National Institutes of Health’s mission is to “seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability”. Data sharing supports this mission by allowing others to scrutinize and validate research methods and results, reuse data to explore new hypotheses, and reduce the need for the work to be duplicated, accelerating the pace that new discoveries can be made.

The policy also aligns with guidance released by the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) in August 2022, which advises free, immediate, and equitable access to all federally funded scientific research and data.

Frequently asked questions

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the new Data Management and Sharing Policy

What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH describes itself as “the steward of medical and behavioral research for the United States” with the mission of “seeking fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.”

The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing more than $32 billion a year to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability.

Read more on the National Institutes of Health website.

What is the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy?

The NIH policy update requires all new and renewing grant applicants to submit a one- to two-page data management and sharing plan, which includes details of data storage, access policies, preservation, metadata standards, distribution approaches, links to data sets, and more. The updated policy is effective from Jan. 25, 2023.

Why is the NIH changing its grant application requirements?

The updated NIH requirements align with guidance from the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) released in late August 2022, ensuring free, immediate and equitable access to federally funded scientific research and data.

The policy was developed and announced now as a response to public comments received by the OSTP on the Draft Policy and the “Request for Public Comments on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting from Federally Funded Research”, intended to promote consistency across federal agencies and reduce researcher burden.

According to the NIH, the updated policy will help improve and promote biomedical research discovery by providing accessibility to datasets that enable validation.

It also promotes reuse of data for future research studies.

What costs can be included in the DMSP?

Allowable
Personnel costs 
Long-term data preservation and sharing (must be spent during performance period) 

Not Allowable 
Funds spent outside the award period, including scientific and metadata preserved and shared beyond the award period 

Read the NIH Supplemental Information for more detail on what’s permitted and not.

Who is impacted by this NIH policy update?

All current and prospective NIH applicants or grantees are required to follow the new policy guidelines.

Existing grantees are not required to resubmit their applications, however competitive re-submissions will be subject to the requirements after the policy update goes live on Jan. 25, 2023.

Where can I find more information about the NIH’s updated DMSP policy?

Visit the NIH Scientific Data Sharing website.
Access recordings of webinars and slide decks explaining the NIH sharing policies on the NIH Scientific Data Sharing Learning page.
Contact the NIH Office of Science Policy for direct assistance.

The role of Taylor & Francis and F1000

How does the NIH DMSP Policy impact Taylor & Francis and F1000?

Taylor & Francis is well-positioned to provide guidance for current and prospective authors and researchers. This includes offering resources that describe our data sharing policy, in addition to how to cite and share data, and how to write a Data Availability Statement (DAS).

Both Taylor & Francis and open research publisher F1000, a subsidiary of Taylor & Francis, partner with a wide array of funding organizations and institutions.

Does Taylor & Francis support the updated NIH policy?

Yes. Taylor & Francis welcomes this updated requirement because it aligns with our commitment to promote and support open research.

Taylor & Francis also supports the recent guidance from the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) announced in late August 2022, ensuring free, immediate and equitable access to federally funded scientific research and data.

Does F1000 support the updated NIH policy?

F1000 has been a long-term advocate for open research, and fully supports the updated requirements by the NIH and OSTP.

F1000 was the first publisher to require findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse of data (FAIR Data requirements), and has been supporting authors and researchers for nearly a decade by providing data sharing best practices.

F1000 is also the first publisher to mandate open data sharing. F1000 has a variety of tools available to help authors and researchers prepare their data, relying on a publishing model that combines the speed of preprints with the benefits of full publication and open peer review and data.

Do Taylor & Francis journals allow researchers to comply with the NIH DMS Policy?

Yes, Taylor & Francis and F1000 journals allow for compliance with the NIH’s new requirements. Our publications will also have individual requirements that researchers must follow to complete their publication.

Follow NIH guidance on selecting a Data Repository to make sure you are sharing your research data in appropriate data repositories if funded by the agency.

When drafting your manuscript for submission to a T&F journal, include a Data Availability Statement (DAS) and data citation indicating where the data has been shared. Learn more here.

Definitions

The National Institutes of Health has defined the following terms for the purposes of the data management and storage policy:

Scientific data

The recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as of sufficient quality to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data are used to support scholarly publications. Scientific data do not include laboratory notebooks, preliminary analyses, completed case report forms, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, communications with colleagues, or physical objects, such as laboratory specimens.

Data management

The process of validating, organizing, protecting, maintaining, and processing scientific data to ensure the accessibility, reliability, and quality of the scientific data for its users.

Data sharing

The act of making scientific data available for use by others (e.g., the larger research community, institutions, the broader public), for example, via an established repository.

Metadata

Data that provide additional information intended to make scientific data interpretable and reusable (e.g., date, independent sample and variable construction and description, methodology, data provenance, data transformations, any intermediate or descriptive observational variables).

Further information and resources

It’s a part of our mission at Taylor & Francis to provide support and resources for authors, researchers, and others during their publishing experience. Here you’ll find some other useful pages and resources on Author Services that will help you navigate your journey to publication.

Sharing and citing data

Find out what research data are, why it’s beneficial to share them, and the steps you should take to share your own data.

Funder open access policies

Find out how to understand and comply with your funder’s open access policy