Abstract: Objective: In the interest of making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will institute a new Data Management and Sharing Policy in January 2023. This policy will require researchers applying for NIH funding to submit a Data Management and Sharing Plan. As 63% of grant dollars received by University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMass Chan) researchers comes from the NIH, we explored whether UMass Chan researchers are currently sharing data associated with their published research and how they shared their data.
Methods: PubMed was searched for articles published in 2019 with a UMass Chan researcher as either the first or last author. These articles were examined for evidence of original or reused data, the type of data, whether the article stated that data was available, and where and how to find that data.
Results: Of the 361 articles with original data, 26% had a data availability statement. However, most articles (71%) did not mention where data could be accessed. The data storage location of the estimated 1551 original datasets was similarly not mentioned for 74% the datasets with the next largest category being available upon request (8.6%). Genomic data repositories such as the Gene Expression Omnibus were among the top repositories used by authors. Similar areas for improvement were noted for permanent identifier use (46% had a permanent identifier), using non-proprietary file formats (most popular format was Excel), and citing reused data. Authors who published open access were more likely to share their data.
Conclusions: While some researchers at UMass Chan have embraced data sharing, particularly genomic data sharing, we expect there will be more data shared in the coming years with the implementation of the new NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy.