Washington Update

Webinar Highlights Interactions Between Scientific Societies and Federal Agencies to Foster Data Sharing

By: Yvette Seger
Thursday, June 17, 2021

On June 4, “Aligning Funder Policy with Support from Societies: Case Study with NIH and FASEB,” one of a series of webinars FASEB is cosponsoring on data sharing, explored ways in which scientific societies could help inform and socialize federal policies pertaining to data sharing. Susan Gregurick, PhD, Associate Director for Data Science and Director of the Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), kicked off the discussion by providing an overview of NIH efforts to foster a connected data ecosystem among biomedical researchers. She noted that while researchers have taken steps to improve discoverability of datasets, it was clear that NIH needed to provide additional guidance to facilitate data management and sharing among its grantees. In 2020, NIH introduced an updated policy for data management and sharing that will go into effect in January 2023. The lag between introduction of the new policy and actual implementation is intended to allow the agency to work with stakeholders to socialize the updated expectations and develop resources to ensure compliance.

The challenge of using compliance to foster culture change was the focus of the presentation on FASEB’s ongoing efforts. Co-presented by Frank Krause, FASEB’s CEO, and Yvette Seger, PhD, FASEB’s Director of Science Policy, their presentation highlighted key pain points for investigators in data management and sharing, including promotion and tenure processes that do not reward data curation and sharing, minimal staff resources and training to aid in data curation, and intellectual property concerns. To support culture change, FASEB is exploring opportunities to foster culture change through an emphasis on data re-use.

The next webinar in this series, “Journal Data Policies: Getting Started with a Framework and Examples from Society Journals,” is scheduled for July 2 at 10 am ET. Click here for more information and to register.