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NIH example for open licensing

This resource sharing plan was written by Daniel Himmelstein and Casey Greene in December 2016 for an NIH grant proposal. The grant's field was biomedical informatics (Grant Number HG009516). This example was revised in April 2018 based on community feedback.

This plan largely focuses on ensuring the open licensing of project outputs. Carly Strasser — a Program Officer for the Data-Driven Discovery Initiative at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation — suggests adding more details regarding your specific data outputs and corresponding sharing plans. For inspiration, see the Digital Curation Centre guide or public Data Management Plans.

In addition, we recommend exercising caution when combining this sharing plan with boilerplate text provided by your institution. In some cases, universities include text declaring their intention to exclusively control intellectual property resulting from the award. While this sharing plan likely takes precedence due to its specificity, it's message may be diluted if combined with a defense of proprietary control of publicly-funded outputs.


Resource Sharing Plan

All outputs from this project — including code, data, figures, and documentation — will be made publicly available under an open license as soon as a stable version is available or the first associated manuscript is published, whichever is earlier. Code will be released under a BSD 3-Clause License, a permissive open source software license. Data will be released under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0, version 1.0 or later). Figures, documentation, and writing (including preprints) will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution License (version 4.0 or later).

In addition to the aforementioned licensing for project outputs, creators of specific project content may release any such content as CC0, at their individual discretion. The principal investigator of this project may release any project content as CC0, at his or her individual discretion.

In instances where upstream inputs are used that restrict the licensing of project outputs beyond the aforementioned guidelines, the most permissive licensing option possible will be applied. However, no inputs will be incorporated that prevent original software from being released under an Open Source Initiative (opensource.org) approved license or prevent original non-code content from being released under an Open Definition (opendefinition.org) conformant license.

Source code will be made available on a publicly accessible version control system, such as GitHub. Prior to submission of project manuscripts to a journal, all related outputs will be made publicly available under the aforementioned licensing guidelines and deposited to persistent archives. Currently, the group uses Zenodo for code repositories, figshare for datasets, and bioRxiv for preprints, however the group may transition to alternatives if other options become more suitable during the course of the grant. In the unanticipated event that any outputs remain unreleased two years after the end of the award, these outputs will be released regardless of whether a stable version is available and whether a project manuscript has been submitted.