Around this time last year, I wrote about a request for information (RFI) on potential key elements that could comprise a future NIH data management and sharing policy. Not surprisingly, we received a lot of helpful feedback. Most commenters supported data sharing and the importance of prospectively planning for where, when, and how scientific data should be managed and shared. There were, however, concerns about how one policy could fit all sizes and types of data across the biomedical research universe as well as potential burden on the research community.
Over the course of the last year, NIH has been incorporating many of these suggestions into our thinking and continuing to engage the community on their thoughts about data management and sharing. We’ve also been working with sovereign Tribal Nations through consultation sessions held across the U.S which have been vital in shaping NIH’s perspective on the potentially unique data sharing needs of those communities.
Today, NIH has released for public comment in the Federal Register a Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing along with supplement draft guidance. The draft policy furthers NIH longstanding commitment to making available the results and products of the research we fund and conduct.
To facilitate public comments, NIH has established a web-portal where folks can easily and securely provide their feedback. The portal can be accessed by clicking here. To ensure that your comments are considered, responses must be submitted no later than January 10, 2020.
I recognize that there is a perception that a Draft policy represents a finished product, that NIH has already made up our mind. I want to assure you that this is not the case. It is very important that we hear from the stakeholder community about what you think works and doesn’t work with respect to what we have proposed. We are also eager to hear your thoughts on the utility of the supplemental draft guidance or recommendations for any other guidance materials that would be helpful. I previously wrote a blog on best practices for public comments that you might find useful.
Finally, to further engage stakeholders, NIH will be hosting a webinar on the draft policy in the near future. Please stay tuned for the details. We look forward to hearing what you think about the draft policy and supplemental draft guidance and encourage you to broadly share its availability and our request for comments. With your help, we can ensure that the draft policy maximizes the myriad benefits of data management and sharing while minimizing the burden to the research community.
Posted by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz, November 6, 2019