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Federal Policies for Data Management (NIH, NSF): Home

Public Access Mandates for scientific research

What is Open Data?

Open data are freely and publicly available data structured in a way to be fully accessible and usable, without copyright, patents or control. This is important because data that is open, available, and accessible will help spur innovation and inform how agencies should evolve their programs to better meet the public's needs.The Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data Act or the OPEN Government Data Act requires federal agencies to publish their information as open data using standardized, non-proprietary formats. In order to meet the guidelines set forth in the US Government Open Data Initiative and data management requirements set forth by DOE, you may be asked to deposit your data in an open access data repository.

Data Repositories help you: 

  • manage your data
  • organize and deposit your data
  • cite your data by supplying a persistent identifier
  • facilitate discovery of your data
  • make your data more valuable for current and future research
  • preserve your data for the long-run

Here is a list of data repositories that accept submissions of appropriate data from NIH-funded investigators (and others).


Where possible, we seek to adhere to the FAIR principles for scientific data management and stewardship. These principles promote the ideas of managing data so that it is fully contextualized, allowing the raw data to be easily used and reused. The FAIR principles are:

  • Findability: The data and associated metadata is persistent, richly described and can be queried through machine access (Application Programmable Interfaces or API) or through manual interaction.
  • Accessibility: The data can be accessed easily and does not use proprietary access methods, even when allowing for authentication and authorization.
  • Interoperability: Data is not stored in proprietary formats, and the data formats are widely accepted and easily read by a variety of programming interfaces. Common community vocabularies will be used to help describe any data and metadata.
  • Reusability: The metadata shall be clear and concise, following community standards and establishing provenance, that allows for interpretation and utilization in other methods beyond the original conceived scope.


PubMed Central

NIH Policy on Data Management and Sharing

NIH logoEffective in 2023, the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing requires all NIH grant applications to include *Data Management and Sharing Plans*. This is an update to the 2008 NIH Public Access Policy open access mandate requiring that NIH research. The current policy will remain until January 25, 2023. On that date, the new 2023 NIH Policy on Data Management and Sharing will take effect.


The current NIH Data Sharing policy, in effect since 2003, remains in effect until January 25, 2023. PIs submitting an NIH application over $500,000 in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why data sharing is not possible.The NIH policy on data sharing applies: 

  • to the sharing of final research data for research purposes;
  • to basic research, clinical studies, surveys, and other types of research supported by NIH;
  • to research that involves human subjects;
  • to laboratory research that does not involve human subjects.

Note that the NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research.Peer-reviewed journal articles arising from NIH-funded research and accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008 must be deposited in  the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.

--> NIH Guide Notice (02/26/2003) - Final NIH Statement on Sharing Research Data.

Starting January 25, 2023:

NIH will require researchers to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan, a plan describing the "data management, preservation, and sharing of scientific data and accompanying metadata". This policy applies to all research, funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH, that results in the generation of scientific data. A Plan will be submitted with any grant application. Plans should include the following elements:

  • Data Type
  • Related Tools, Software and/or Code
  • Standards
  • Data Preservation, Access, and Associated Timelines
  • Access, Distribution, or Reuse Considerations
  • Oversight of Data Management and Sharing

--> Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (released 10/29/2020; effective 01/25/2023)

NSF Policy on Data Management and Sharing

NSF LogoEffective 2013, NSF’s Public Access plan (NSF 15-52) describes a set of steps that meet the policy objectives set forth in the February 22, 2013 memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research.


.As of January 18, 2011, all proposals to the NSF must include a Data Management Plan (DMP), which should describe how the proposal will conform to the NSF policy on dissemination and sharing of reseach results. All proposals submitted to NSF must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan.” (DMP). All data resulting from research funded by the NSF should be placed in the digital repository named in your DMP. For further information, see the GPG Chapter II.C.2.j and

DMPs may address:

  • The types of data or materials to be produced by the proposed project; 
  • The standards for data and metadata that will be used; 
  • Policies for access and sharing;
  • Policies for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and  
  • Plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products.  

During this time, NSF also permits proposals to be prepared and submitted via As of 2016, The NSF requires that those receiving research grant funding from the NSF take steps to make their publications and research data publicly accessible. This policy is effective for proposals and data submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Publication manuscripts will be submitted through the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR), developed from the Dept of Energy's PAGES system. Deposit to NSF-PAR is done through the site. Only PIs and co-PIs on a grant are able to deposit materials to NSF-PAR. Sign in to and choose 'Deposit Publication' from My Desktop.

The first step in submitting to NSF-PAR is to provide a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a unique ID that identifies the specific article or proceeding you are depositing.

Starting end of 2022:

The NSF is transitioning of all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to by the end of 2022.

Other Public Access Mandates

Making Data Open via a General Data Repository

LANL researchers' deposit their data in a variety of places: domain-specific data repositories, general purpose data repositories, and DOE-specific Institutional data repositories. The value of these repositories are in the availability and familiarity with researchers within the discipline and the subject specific metadata searching capabilities and ontologies.General repositories are often recommended by publishers as well as granting agencies for the deposit of data related to research studies. Some recommended open repositories include:

Compare recommended repositories to each other in the LANL Data Repositories Matrix.

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