Created by on 02/14/2012

Several federal science agencies are currently in the process of developing new data policies. The Advisory Committee to the National Institutes of Health Director Working Group on Data and Informatics has issued a request for information to inform its deliberations on the management, integration, and analysis of large biomedical datasets. The deadline to submit comments is March 12, 2012.
The National Science Board, part of the leadership apparatus of the National Science Foundation (NSF), is farther along in its policy development process and has issued a number of draft recommendations regarding digital data sharing and management. Below are the five major recommendations that have been proposed:
  • NSF should provide leadership to Federal agencies and other national and international stakeholders in the development and implementation of digital research data policies, including urging individual scientific communities to establish data sharing and management practices that align with NSF data policies
  • Consistent with the digital data generated in research projects, NSF should require grantees to make the data and the methods and techniques used in the creation and analysis of the data accessible for the purposes of building upon or verifying figures, tables, findings, and conclusions in peer reviewed publications. Similar requirements are appropriate when data are requested for the purpose of extending the scientific conclusions through further research. Data should be shared using persistent electronic identifiers, which enable automatic attribution of authors and award funding
  • NSF should continue to expand support for computational and data-enabled science and engineering researchers and cyberinfrastructure professionals to take advantage of shared, accessible data and to advance emerging science
  • NSF should convene a panel of stakeholders to explore and develop a range of viable long-term business models and issues related to maintaining digital data and provide a key set of recommendations for action
  • NSF should further the expansion of sustainable data management, including preservation and curation of pre-existing and newly generated long-lived data, by encouraging development and implementation of data sharing infrastructure and long-term business models that encompass the range of research communities, institutions, and grants

The full report is available on the NSF website.