NIH-Wide Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2021-2025

“NIH is committed to making findings from the research that it funds accessible and available in a timely manner, while also providing safeguards for privacy, intellectual property, security, and data management. For instance, NIH-funded investigators are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities freely available within 12 months of publication. NIH also encourages investigators to share results prior to peer review, such as through preprints, to speed the dissemination of their findings and enhance the rigor of their work through informal peer review. A robust culture of data sharing is critical to continued progress in science, maximizing NIH’s investment in research, and assurance of the highest levels of transparency and rigor. To this end, NIH will continue to promote opportunities for data management and sharing while allowing flexibility for various data types, sharing platforms, and strategies. Additionally, NIH is implementing a policy requiring that all applications include data sharing and management plans that consider input from stakeholders….”

NIH Request for Information on Streamlining Access to Controlled Data from NIH Data Repositories | Data Science at NIH

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released today a Request for Information (RFI) on streamlining access to controlled data from NIH data repositories (NOT-OD-21-157). Responses are due Aug. 9. 

The NIH is requesting input on strategies for harmonizing, simplifying, and streamlining mechanisms for accessing data in NIH-supported controlled-access data repositories that continue to uphold robust data privacy and security protections. In particular, NIH would like to understand better researchers’ experiences in finding and accessing controlled access data housed in NIH-supported repositories and the extent to which existing NIH policies address aggregation and linkage of controlled access data….”

Simba Information: Scientific & Technical Publishing Grew During Pandemic

“The report Global Scientific & Technical Publishing 2021-2025 found that total sales increased 0.4% to $10.5 billion in 2020. However, currency exchange fluctuations deflated growth. Simba Information estimates growth without the currency impact at 2.8%.

“The findings stand in stark contrast to forecasts of doom and gloom related to COVID-19’s impact and the move to open access,” said Dan Strempel, senior analyst of professional publishing at Simba Information. “Print books continue to fall, but that spending is migrating to e-books and other types of online content, databases and tools. Research spending and output, in terms of journal articles, both continued to grow.”

The number of articles published with funding from 33 key research organizations tracked by Simba Information grew 10.7% to 525,042 articles in 2020, according to information in the Crossref database.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China is the leading funder, backing 268,588 articles in 2020—a 9.2% increase from 245,966 in 2019. The U.S. National Institutes of Health is the No. 2 funder of articles with 71,951 in 2020, an 8% increase. The European Commission has a strong hold on the No. 3 position in the index, growing the number of articles funded by 18.6% as the Plan S open access mandate builds momentum. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Japan’s Science and Technology Agency both showed growth in articles funded in excess of 20% in 2020.

There have been more reports of university libraries canceling their journal subscription packages in 2020 and 2021, but most are still subscribing to individual journals based on usage/importance to the researchers and faculty. As individual institutions choose to purchase subscriptions a la carte, their total spend with the large commercial publishers is reduced, but the market leaders are replacing it with the growth of revenue from open access fees. Others are signing transformative agreements, which support the growth of open access.

Pure open access publishers MDPI, PLOS and eLife were also found to be publishing significant numbers of articles backed by the world largest research funding bodies. The European Commission funded 6,304 articles published by MDPI, 13.3% of all articles funded by the EC in 2020. MDPI also has a strong link to the National Research Foundation of Korea, which funded 2,829 articles published by MDPI in 2020 — 12.3% of all the articles funded by the foundation. PLOS and eLife are strongly linked to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, publishing 1,125 and 944 articles respectively in 2020 that were financially backed by that agency….”

Why some researchers oppose unrestricted sharing of coronavirus genome data

“Global-south scientists say that an open-access movement led by wealthy nations deprives them of credit and undermines their efforts….

But a growing faction of scientists, mostly from wealthy nations, argues that sequences should be shared on databases with no gatekeeping at all. They say this would allow huge analyses combining hundreds of thousands of genomes from different databases to flow seamlessly, and therefore deliver results more rapidly.

The debate has caught the attention of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) — which runs its own genome repository, called GenBank — and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has considered encouraging grantees to share on sites without such strong protections, Nature has learnt.

But many researchers — particularly those in resource-limited countries — are pushing back. They tell Nature that they see potential for exploitation in this no-strings-attached approach — and that GISAID’s gatekeeping is one of its biggest attractions because it ensures that users who analyse sequences from GISAID acknowledge those who deposited them. The database also requests that users seek to collaborate with the depositors….

Fears of inequitable data use are amplified by the fact that only 0.3% of COVID-19 vaccines have gone to low-income countries. “Imagine Africans working so hard to contribute to a database that’s used to make or update vaccines, and then we don’t get access to the vaccines,” says Christian Happi, a microbiologist at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in Ede, Nigeria. “It’s very demoralizing.” …”

NIH Preprint Pilot Update. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2021 Mar–Apr

“Ten months into the NIH Preprint Pilot, more than 2,100 preprints reporting NIH-supported research on COVID-19 are now discoverable in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. Through early April 2021, these records have been viewed more than 1 million times in each of these databases (1.4 million in PMC; 1 million in PubMed). Of the preprints included in the pilot, ~60% are currently discoverable only as a preprint version, having not yet been linked to a published article. All articles are clearly identified as preprints. Preprints may be selected or excluded in searches by using the preprint filter.

The pilot launched in June 2020 with preprint records from medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, ChemRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN. Phase 1 has focused on improving the discoverability of preprints relating to the ongoing public health emergency and accelerating dissemination of NIH-supported research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. This narrowly scoped first phase has allowed the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to streamline curation and ingest workflows for NIH-supported preprints and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there has been high demand for accelerated access and discovery. Since launching the pilot, NLM has made display of preprint records in PubMed search results more transparent. We have also automated checks for new preprint versions and preprint withdrawals, and reduced the steps required to report preprints as products of awards in My Bibliography….”

Mandating access: assessing the NIH’s public access policy | Economic Policy | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  In April 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented the Public Access Policy (PAP), which mandated that the full text of NIH-supported articles be made freely available on PubMed Central – the NIH’s repository of biomedical research. This paper uses 600,000 NIH articles and a matched comparison sample to examine how the PAP impacted researcher access to the biomedical literature and publishing patterns in biomedicine. Though some estimates allow for large citation increases after the PAP, the most credible estimates suggest that the PAP had a relatively modest effect on citations, which is consistent with most researchers having widespread access to the biomedical literature prior to the PAP, leaving little room to increase access. I also find that NIH articles are more likely to be published in traditional subscription-based journals (as opposed to ‘open access’ journals) after the PAP. This indicates that any discrimination the PAP induced, by subscription-based journals against NIH articles, was offset by other factors – possibly the decisions of editors and submission behaviour of authors.

 

New NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit Available. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2020 Nov–Dec

“NLM has created a new resource for librarians: the NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit. This toolkit provides information and resources about the NIH Preprint Pilot, NLM’s latest project to increase the early discoverability of NIH-supported research results.

What’s a preprint? A preprint is a complete and public draft of a scientific document that has not yet gone through peer review. During this pilot, NLM is making preprints that result from research funded by NIH available via PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. The first phase of the pilot focuses on preprints about COVID-19.

The NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit has a variety of resources for librarians and other health professionals to learn about the role, access, and use of preprints. The toolkit includes an overview of the preprint pilot project, information for NIH investigators, preprint educational materials, journal preprint policies, and preprint peer review tools….”

Reflections on the Evolving World of Periodicals – PubMed

Abstract:  Data-Sharing Rule Finalized: Beginning in January 2023, all biomedical researchers newly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to share data from their studies or explain why they are unable to do so. The new policy updates a 2003 requirement. Challenges in Achieving Replicability: The replicability of evidence for scientific claims is an important element in achieving scientific progress. Knowledge accumulation depends on reliable past findings to generate new ideas and extensions that can advance understanding. Disappearing Journals: Scholarly journals are supposed to provide a lasting record of science. Over the past two decades, however, 176 open-access journals and many papers appearing in them have disappeared from the Internet. The Conundrum of Academic Publishing: Academic publishing is in flux. Historically, dissemination of research through academic journals has been based on paid library or institutional subscriptions, with most content held behind a paywall. That is now changing with a global call for open access, a model of scholarly communication intended to increase accessibility of research results to the reader.

 

NOT-OD-21-013: Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is issuing this final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing (DMS Policy) to promote the management and sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research. This Policy establishes the requirements of submission of Data Management and Sharing Plans (hereinafter Plans) and compliance with NIH Institute, Center, or Office (ICO)-approved Plans. It also emphasizes the importance of good data management practices and establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions. This Policy applies to research funded or conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data….”

Statement on Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

“The extraordinary effort to speed the development of treatments and vaccines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put into sharp relief the need for the global science community to share scientific data openly. As the world’s largest funder of biomedical research, NIH is addressing this need with a new NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing. This policy requires researchers to plan prospectively for managing and sharing scientific data generated with NIH funds. This policy also establishes the baseline expectation that data sharing is a fundamental component of the research process, which is in line with NIH’s longstanding commitment to making the research it funds available to the public….”

Hahnel Argues for Making Data as Open as Possible | NIH Record

“Speaking virtually from London to a group of more than 120 NIH employees at a recent NIH Data Science Town Hall sponsored by the Office of Data Science Strategy, Dr. Mark Hahnel said, “To get the most out of science, research data needs to be as open as possible, as closed as necessary.”

For Hahnel, “open as possible” means data that is published openly and well-described. It also means educating researchers on the importance of data-sharing and the tools available to them….”

The Case for Making Data as Open as Possible | Data Science at NIH

“In July 2020 the Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) completed the NIH Figshare Instance project, a one-year pilot with existing generalist repository Figshare to determine how biomedical researchers may use a generalist repository for sharing and reusing NIH-funded data.

To mark the conclusion of this project, ODSS invited Figshare founder and CEO Mark Hahnel, Ph.D., to share some of the pilot outcomes, his perspective on lessons learned from the project, and his thoughts on the future of data sharing at the NIH Data Science Town Hall, a monthly meeting for NIH employees interested in data science activities across the agency. The recording(link is external) of his presentation is now available. …”

Crafting a High-Def Human Tissue Atlas | Department of Biomedical Informatics

“HuBMAP (the Human BioMolecular Atlas Program) has released its inaugural data for use by the scientific community and the general public. Included in this release are detailed, 3D anatomical data and genetic sequences of healthy tissues from seven organ types, at the level of individual cells as well as many bulk tissue datasets. HuBMAP’s ultimate goal is to provide the framework required for scientists to create a 3D atlas of the human body.

HuBMAP’s tools and maps are openly available for research to accelerate understanding of the relationships between cell and tissue organization and function, as well as human health. Visitors can find the data at portal.hubmapconsortium.org.

HuBMAP is a consortium of 18 diverse collaborative research teams across the United States and Europe. HuBMAP values secure, open sharing and collaboration with other consortia and the wider research community. The consortium  is managed by a trans-National Institutes of Health (NIH) working group of staff from the NIH Common Fund; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases….”