Academic health centers should take lead in promoting the sharing of biomedical research data

Sep 02, 2008

Academic health centers (AHCs) have a critical role in enabling, encouraging, and rewarding the sharing of biomedical research data, say a team of academics in this week's PLoS Medicine. "The leaders of medical schools and academic-affiliated hospitals," they say "can play a unique role in supporting this transformation of the research enterprise."

Rebecca Crowley (University of Pittsburgh Medical School, USA) and colleagues argue that despite the anticipated benefits of data sharing, such sharing has "yet to be widely adopted in biomedicine" and they urge AHCs to take a leadership role. "Through their interwoven roles in education, research, and policy, AHCs can lead the development of best practices for establishing a data sharing culture."

The authors lay out 7 recommendations for AHCs to encourage data sharing:

-- Commit to sharing research data as openly as possible, given privacy constraints, and streamline policies and procedures relating to institutional review boards (research ethics committees), technology transfer, and information technology
-- Recognize data sharing contributions in staff hiring and promotion decisions
-- Educate trainees and current investigators on responsible data sharing
-- Encourage data sharing practices as part of publication policies
-- Encourage data sharing plans as part of funding policies
-- Fund the costs of data sharing, support for data repositories, adoption of sharing infrastructure and metrics, and research into best practices through federal grants and AHC funds
-- Publish experiences in data sharing to facilitate the exchange of best practices.

"Academic health centers will benefit by leading the transition towards a culture of biomedical data sharing," conclude the authors. "More widespread awareness of these benefits can motivate key stakeholders to take concrete steps to enable, inspire, and reward data sharing within and beyond their institutions."

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Early detection and transplantation provide best outcomes for 'bubble boy' disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fukushima study: Think about unthinkable disasters

1 hour ago

(AP)—A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.

FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

1 hour ago

(AP)—It's a rite nearly as old as television: the morning after a new show premieres, network executives wait impatiently for the Nielsen company's estimate of how many people watched, and rush to report ...

Recommended for you

New malaria vaccine candidates identified

9 hours ago

Researchers have discovered new vaccine targets that could help in the battle against malaria. Taking a new, large-scale approach to this search, researchers tested a library of proteins from the Plasmodium fa ...

User comments : 0