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NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy: DMPTool

This guide contains resources, contact information, and step-by-step instructions for MSK staff who engage with the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

What is the DMPTool?

The DMPTool is an online application designed to help researchers create and maintain Data Management Plans based on funder templates. In addition, we have embedded MSK institution-specific guidance, as well as a direct link for assistance from an MSK data services librarian.

The application contains a template for the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy to provide a step-by-step process for writing a 'data management plan' with question prompts to help you respond to NIH's requirements along with MSK-specific guidance directing you to appropriate MSK resources if you have additional questions. 

The California Digital Library has put together a great introductory video to help you get started using the DMPTool.

DMPTool2 Promotional Video from California Digital Library on Vimeo.

How to Create a DMP

Here are step-by-step instructions for creating your Data Management Plan using the DMPTool. 

  1. Go to the DMPTool website.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. If it is your first time logging in, you will be asked to create an account with your name, institution, and password.
  4. Selecting MSK as your institution will automatically apply MSK guidance to your DMPs.

When you first login to the DMPTool, you will be taken to your dashboard. From here you will be able to see a table of plans that have been created or shared with you, as well as basic properties of those plans such as which template they were based on and whether they are visible or shared.

You can access a previous plan by click on the Project Title.

You can also publish, download, copy, or remove previous plans from the "Actions" dropdown menu in the far right of the table.

To create a new plan:

  1. Click the Create Plan button below the table on your dashboard.
  2. Give your project a name. Note: You can indicate that this is a test plan if you just want to see what the template looks like without creating an actual plan.
  3. Once you type/select "National Institutes of Health ( as the funder, you'll be able to select the template, NIH-GEN DMSP (Forthcoming 2023).
  4. Finally, click Create Plan. You will now be able to see this project on your dashboard any time you come back to the DMPTool.


Before you start writing your Data Management Plan, there are two more project related tabs to complete.

Project Details - This information is not essential to completing a Data Management Plan but will help organize your project, identify its association with other components of a grant application, and make it easier discover.

Select Guidance (located in the panel on the right) - Choose which institution-specific guidance you would like to see while writing your plan. You can select up to six organizations. By default you will see NIH, DMPTool, and MSK guidance.

Seeing other guidance may be useful if you are collaborating with researchers at other institutions.

The second project tab is Collaborators.

When you add a new contributor, you will be asked to provide their name, email address, ORCID iD (if they have one), affiliation (if different from MSK), and their role in the project.

From this tab, you can also invite Collaborators to help write, edit, or review your plan. When you add a collaborator, they will be notified by email and be able access the plan from their DMPTool dashboard.

Now you are ready to write the actual Data Management Plan.

Click through the collapsible menu of topics to view each of the 12 questions in this NIH DMSP template.

Below each question prompt you will see sample answer text.

To the right of each question prompt you will see a panel with guidance from NIH, the DMPTool, and MSK. You can also write comments to be shared with your collaborators and reviews.

As you complete the questions, remember to save your responses.

Not all questions may be relevant to your research project. If not applicable, you can skip the question.

This tab allows you to provide additional details about specific research outputs. While it is not required, this offers an opportunity to document facts, such as the repository, release date, and license information for the different types of data, code, materials and other outputs your project will produce.

Once your Data Management Plan is complete, you can download it for inclusion in your grant or to share with others.

You can:

  • Download your plan as a PDF, Word Doc, or other formats.
  • Select which portions of the plan to include in the downloaded file. For example, you probably won't want to include unanswered questions in the final draft.
  • Indicate the basic font, size, and margins (PDF output only).


The final tab in the DMPTool allows you to select the visibility of your plan. By default, plans are only visible to collaborators and MSK DMPTool administrations. If you want to share your plan more broadly with the MSK Community or publicly, you can do so here.

If your plan satisfies certain criteria (listed under Register your plan and add ORCID), you will be able to register your plan for a DMP ID. Engaging with this feature allows information within your Data Management Plan to be machine-actionable. It utilizes persistent identifiers (PIDs), such as RORs for research institutions, Funder Registry IDs, and ORCID for collaborators. See here for more information about this feature.