Today, we are updating the way we manage data related to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy to again allow unrestricted access to genomic summary results for most of the studies we support in order to advance health or further research purposes. These summary results are importantly distinct from other genomic research data, most notably in that they do not include individual-level information. Instead, these results come from analyzing pooled genomic data from multiple individuals together to generate a statistical result for the entire dataset. Such information can be a powerful tool for helping researchers determine which genomic variants potentially contribute to a disease or disorder.
Genomic research produces incredibly large amounts of valuable data, often more than one lab can feasibly interrogate. Every day, genomic sequencing costs decrease, and high-throughput technologies advance, allowing scientists to generate large-scale genomic data faster than before. Thus the sharing of these data not only is practical and efficient, it also maximizes the scientific potential of valuable data. This is why it’s important for you to know about the release of the final NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy.