National Institutions of Health

ORI Introduction to RCR: Chapter 6. Data Management Practices

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Data Sharing Policy and Implementation Guidance Updated:
March 5, 2003 Goals of Sharing Data
Data sharing promotes many goals of the NIH research endeavor. It is particularly important for unique data that cannot be readily replicated. Data sharing allows scientists to expedite the translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve human health.
There are many reasons to share data from NIH-supported studies. Sharing data reinforces open scientific inquiry, encourages diversity of analysis and opinion, promotes new research, makes possible the testing of new or alternative hypotheses and methods of analysis, supports studies on data collection methods and measurement, facilitates the education of new researchers, enables the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators, and permits the creation of new datasets when data from multiple sources are combined.
In NIH’s view, all data should be considered for data sharing. Data should be made as widely and freely available as possible while safeguarding the privacy of participants, and protecting confidential and proprietary data. To facilitate data sharing, investigators submitting a research application requesting $500,000 or more of direct costs in any single year to NIH on or after October 1, 2003, are expected to include a plan for sharing final research data for research purposes, or state why data sharing is not possible. (Link)

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