Research and Data Services

NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan Guidance


Record Retention and Repositories

Note that UVA policies require retention of research records even if data is shared in a repository. Follow guidelines at RES-002: Ownership, Retention, Safeguarding, Management, and Transfer of Research Records and on the Research Records site.

Choosing a Repository

NIH strongly encourages the use of established repositories to the extent possible for preserving and sharing scientific data. Follow the steps below to choose repository for your plan.

  1. Check whether a specific repository is required by your NIH FOA or ICO
  2. If no data repository is specified by NIH,researchers are encouraged to select a data repository that is appropriate for the data generated from the research project. Primary consideration should be given to data repositories that are discipline or data-type specific to support effective data discovery and reuse.
    1. See a list of NIH-supported repositories at Repositories for Sharing Scientific Data OR
    2. Look for an appropriate disciplinary repository on the Registry of Research Data Depositories (re3data)
  3. If there is no appropriate disciplinary repository, you can deposit your data in UVA's institutional repository (LibraData) or an NIH-approved generalist repository
  4. Alternatively, small data sets (under 2GB) may be included as supplementary material to articles in PubMedCentral, if your article will be immediately available in PMC
  5. For more information, read the NIH Guide to Selecting a Data Repository

Institutional Data Repository: LibraData

LibraData, UVA’s institutional data repository, is a great option for non-sensitive data. Below are some of its benefits:

  • Local support from a UVA librarian, including assistance with uploading data, creating metadata and curating data for re-use
  • Can request a collection (grouping of datasets) for your lab, center or department with a customized landing page (example)
  • Discoverable via UVA Library catalog, Google Dataset search, DataCite search
  • Can provide an anonymized URL for peer review
  • Ability to easily upload GitHub repo content

Planning to use LibraData?
You can use the below language to describe LibraData in your DMS plan:

"The sharable data and research materials will be deposited in the University of Virginia’s institutional repository LibraData, UVA’s local instance of Dataverse repository. LibraData assigns DOIs to each dataset which makes data searchable and discoverable by Datacite and other data search engines. The necessary metadata, documentation, code and other resources to make my data accessible and re-usable for future users will also be submitted. By depositing data and research materials in UVA’s Dataverse, the sharable research from this project will be discoverable and citable by others who wish to use it. The current preservation plan for Libra will be to preserve the data indefinitely. The Libra backup plan provides for data redundancy including off-site storage."

Generalist Repositories

Generalist repositories, like Figshare and Zenodo, accept many different kinds of data. Many offer free deposits and some also provide options for controlled access.

Describing Your Repository

In your plan's Element 4, you'll need to describe the repository's discovery, preservation, and access characteristics. You'll find that information on the repository's website - try searching for DOI or preservation on the site, or ask your librarian for help.

Example text: The data and associated metadata will be deposited in Figshare, which provides a DOI at the time of publication. All public research data on deposited in Figshare is stored is preserved in Chronopolis and is guaranteed long-term access. Data will be shared by the time of publication of the first peer-reviewed article.
(Found on Figshare website pages: Figshare Preservation and Continuity of Access Policy and Figshare How to Cite Your Data)


NIH issued the Data Management and Sharing (DMS) policy (effective January 25, 2023) to promote the sharing of scientific data. Read more at, but in short, under the DMS policy, NIH expects that investigators and institutions:

  • Plan and budget for the managing and sharing of data
  • Submit a DMS plan for review when applying for funding
  • Comply with the approved DMS plan

To have a librarian review your DMS plan, please complete this request form.

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