SfN Submits Letter to NIH Regarding Data Management
Following the annual spring gathering of SfN Council and NIH directors, Council submitted a letter to NIH directors highlighting several issues facing the neuroscience community related to the new NIH Policy on Data Management and Sharing (NOT-OD-21-013). While supportive of the overall goal of making data accessible, Council communicated that the lack of uniform and clear policies across institutes creates practical problems and questions for the neuroscientists and their institutions implementing the new policy.
Three specific challenges were shared with NIH in the letter:
- Lack of uniformity between NIH institutes and centers causes confusion for grantees and their home institutions.
- No intended audience has been identified, making it difficult to decide how to best curate and annotate the data.
- Data storage and transfer currently falls to individual institutions and grantees, likely resulting in a patchwork of systems.
Current ambiguities in the guidance sets the stage for grantees to potentially take the path of least resistance, leading to data being made available in an ineffective and expensive manner, prone to public misinterpretation, exploitation, and abuse.