Research Remix

September 2, 2008

Towards a Data Sharing Culture: Recommendations for Leadership from Academic Health Centers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather Piwowar @ 8:04 am

Our paper encouraging data sharing leadership from medical schools and academic-affiliated hospitals has been published today in the Policy Forum at PLoS Medicine:

Citation: Piwowar HA, Becich MJ, Bilofsky H, Crowley RS, on behalf of the caBIG Data Sharing and Intellectual Capital Workspace (2008) Towards a Data Sharing Culture: Recommendations for Leadership from Academic Health Centers. PLoS Med 5(9): e183 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050183

The Policy Forum allows health policy makers around the world to discuss challenges and opportunities for improving health care in their societies.

Sharing biomedical research and health care data is important but difficult. Recognizing this, many initiatives facilitate, fund, request, or require researchers to share their data. These initiatives address the technical aspects of data sharing, but rarely focus on incentives for key stakeholders. Academic health centers (AHCs) have a critical role in enabling, encouraging, and rewarding data sharing. The leaders of medical schools and academic-affiliated hospitals can play a unique role in supporting this transformation of the research enterprise. We propose that AHCs can and should lead the transition towards a culture of biomedical data sharing.

The benefits of data sharing and reuse have been widely reported. We summarize them here, from the perspective of an AHC.

Thanks to Mike Becich for getting the ball rolling, Howard Bilofsky for his emphasis on metrics, caBIG participants and PLoS reviewers and editors for important comments, Randen Pederson for making his thumbnail cairn photo available in Flickr under CC-BY, and especially to Rebecca Crowley for inspired discussions, text, edits, enthusiasm, and mentoring throughout the process.

PLoS wrote up a press release.  Cool, eh?  :)

The paper isn’t perfect, but we do hope it will continue to raise awareness (and action!) about benefits and pratical steps for increased scientific openness.

If you have comments, please Write a Response to the paper at the PLoS Medicine site to encourage a broad conversation.  Thanks!

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