Friday, March 27, 2015

National Institutes of Health: Plan for Increasing Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific Data from NIH Funded Scientific Research

National Institutes of Health: Plan for Increasing Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific Data from NIH Funded Scientific Research. February 2015.

This document describes NIH’s plans to build upon and enhance its longstanding efforts to increase access to scholarly publications and digital data resulting from NIH-funded research. Sections relevant to digital preservation and long term management:

NIH intends to make public access to digital scientific data the standard for all NIH funded research. Following adoption of the final plan, NIH will:
  • Explore steps to require data sharing.
  • Ensure that all NIH-funded researchers prepare data management plans and that the plans are evaluated during peer review.
  • Develop additional data management policies to increase public access to designated types of biomedical research data.
  • Encourage the use of established public repositories and community-based standards.
  • Develop approaches to ensure the discoverability of data sets resulting from NIH-funded research to make them findable, accessible, and citable.
  • Promote interoperability and openness of digital scientific data generated or managed by NIH.
  • Explore the development of a data commons. NIH will explore the development of a commons, a shared space for basic and clinical research output including data, software, and narrative, that follows the FAIR principles of Find, Access, Interoperate and Reuse.

Preservation is one of the Public Access Policy’s primary objectives. It wants to ensure that publications and metadata are stored in an archival solution that:
  • provides for long-term preservation and access to the content without charge; 
  • uses standards, widely available and, to the extent possible, nonproprietary archival formats for text and associated content (e.g., images, video, supporting data); 
  • provides access for persons with disabilities
The content in the NIH database is actively curated  using XML records which is future proof, in that XML is technology independent and can be easily and reliably migrated as technology evolves. 

The first principle behind the plan for increasing access to digital scientific data is: The sharing and preservation of data advances science by broadening the value of research data across disciplines and to society at large, protecting the integrity of science by facilitating the validation of results, and increasing the return on investment of scientific research.

Data Management Plans
Data management planning should be an integral part of research planning.  NIH wants to ensure that all extramural researchers receiving Federal grants and contracts for scientific research and intramural researchers develop data management plans describing how they will provide for long-term preservation of, and access to, scientific data in digital formats resulting from federally funded research, or explaining why long-term preservation and access cannot be justified. In order to preserve the balance between the relative benefits of long-term preservation and access and the associated cost and administrative burden, NIH will continue to expect researchers to consider the benefits of long-term preservation of data against the costs of maintaining and sharing the data.

NIH will assess whether the appropriate balance has been achieved in data management plans between the relative benefits of long-term preservation and access and the associated cost and administrative burden. It will also develop guidance with the scientific community to decide which data should be prioritized for long-term preservation and access. NIH will also explore and fund innovative tools and services that improve search, archiving, and disseminating of data, while ensuring long-term stewardship and usability.

Assessing Long-Term Preservation Needs
NIH will provide for the preservation of scientific data and outline options for developing and sustaining repositories for scientific data in digital formats.  The policies expect long-term preservation of data.
Long-term preservation and sustainability will be included in data management plans and will collaborate with other agencies on how best to develop and sustain repositories for digital scientific data.

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