Advances in genetic sequencing and high-throughput technologies, as well as a steep drop in genetic sequencing costs, have resulted in great volumes of genomic data produced with the support of NIH funding. In light of these scientific advances, NIH decided to expand its data sharing policies to encompass a wider range of genomic research. The resulting draft Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) policy, is now available for public comment.
NIH has promoted data sharing for many years. The draft GDS policy extends the current NIH policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS), and applies data-sharing expectations to all large-scale human and non-human genomic data generated from NIH-supported research, regardless of funding level or type of support (e.g., grants, contracts, intramural research funding, etc.) The draft GDS Policy describes the responsibilities of investigators and institutions for the submission of non-human and human genomic data to data repositories and the secondary research use of such data. The draft GDS Policy, like the GWAS Policy, includes a number of provisions to assure the protection of human data.