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Data sharing recommendations to the NIH

This blog was written by Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Head of Data Publishing.

Springer Nature has responded to the US National Institutes of Health’s request for information (RFI) on Strategies for NIH Data Management, Sharing, and Citation.  Our detailed response covers a multitude of issues on barriers to and incentives for sharing data and software that support published research.

Our full response as submitted online to NIH is available here. The content of the response reflects the research data and software policies of many Springer Nature publications, along with the experience and evidence gained from our contributions to and leadership of relevant initiatives on data citation, data policy development, data publishing, researcher engagement and data repository collaborations.

As well as sharing knowledge, we make a number of recommendations to the NIH, and funding organisations, to increase prevalence and support for data and software sharing and citation. These include:

  • Promoting involvement of research data management experts in research, and recommending services and tools for researchers that can aid compliance with policy.
  • Providing a proportion of grant funding for research data management and sharing.
  • Encouraging researchers to share and describe datasets in a way that facilitates reuse and reproducibility.
  • Encouraging or requiring the reporting and citation of data and software in scholarly publications.
  • Requiring the provision of consistent, standardised data availability statements in publications, as is required by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
  • Monitoring and encouraging inclusion of information on data and software reuse in Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) – such as metrics from data and code repositories, and case studies of data/software reuse.
  • Committing to work with publishers and other stakeholders to share information on data-article links and discuss policy standardisation for example via the Scholix framework, and working groups of force11 and Research Data Alliance.
  • Encouraging researchers to, where appropriate, publish data papers and software papers in journals to promote reuse of data and software, and to submit their data and software for consideration by peer reviewers of traditional papers.
  • Encouraging NIH funded repositories to provide standardized data citation guidance for researchers, in collaboration with publishers.

At Springer Nature we’re looking forward to reading the responses of other individuals and organisations to this important RFI, and collaborating with interested parties on any resulting activities.



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