NIH Seeks Comments on Data Sharing

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking comments on a draft statement regarding research data sharing. Under the draft policy, investigators supported by NIH funding will be expected to make their research data available to the scientific for subsequent analysis. The statement is an extension of existing NIH policy regarding sharing research resources.

The draft statement – available online at policy/data_sharing/ – conveys NIH’s expectations about the timely release and sharing of final research data from NIH-supported studies for use by other researchers. In addition, investigators submitting an NIH application will be required to include a plan for data sharing or a statement indicating why data sharing is not possible. This policy would apply to extramural scientists, cooperative agreements, and contracts as well as intramural investigators.

Comments on the draft policy are welcome from institutions and individuals, and should be sent to the Office of Extramural Research, 1 Center Drive, MSC 0152, Building 1, Room 150, Bethesda, MD, 20817 or emailed to, by June 1, 2002. NIH expects to announce the new policy on August 1, 2002, after consideration of public comments and appropriate revisions, with a proposed effective date of January 1, 2003. Additional information is available online at the above internet address.