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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Comments to NIH on Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy

    AAMC Submits Comments to NIH on Draft Data Management and Sharing Policy


    Anurupa Dev, Director, Science Policy & Strategy
    Heather Pierce, Senior Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

    The AAMC Jan. 10 submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in response to a request for information (RFI) on a draft policy to serve as a foundation for data management and sharing for NIH-funded research [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 7, 2019].

    In its letter, the AAMC expressed support for the NIH’s efforts to integrate data management into the research review and funding process, increase sharing and reuse of scientific data generated through NIH-funded research, and develop a clearly defined policy to accomplish these objectives. The AAMC encouraged the agency to develop a policy that will lead to meaningful and positive data practices and to provide adequate guidance, resources, and infrastructure to support researchers.

    The comments state that “If NIH or its Institutes, Centers, or Offices (ICOs) have specific but unstated expectations for any aspects of data management and sharing, such as what types of data should always be shared, how accessible that data should be, or a timeline for data sharing, those expectations should be included in the policy or otherwise explicitly stated.”

    Additionally, the AAMC stressed the importance of as much harmonization and standardization as possible across the NIH in both the policy requirements and implementation. The letter emphasized the importance of a flexible and responsive policy while noting that the absence of clear requirements “may lead to overcompliance or an ineffective or inconsistently implemented policy.”

    The agency expects to incorporate feedback gathered from the RFI into a final NIH policy.