AAU submitted a response to the National Institutes of Health’s request for public comments to enhance public access to the results of NIH-supported research. AAU expressed appreciation for the agency’s continued collaboration with stakeholders and made several recommendations.
AAU suggested that the NIH ensure data access and help minimize costs by creating and supporting one agency-wide data repository similar to PubMed Central. AAU also urged the NIH to explore ways to ensure that faculty and institutions have the means to receive support for publication and data storage costs well beyond the length of an individual grant. AAU encouraged the NIH to continue collaborating with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and their efforts to develop a research data framework. Developing and adopting standard metadata approaches could help facilitate the use of metadata across different datasets and disciplines, reducing barriers to sharing and reusing data, thereby improving public access. Finally, AAU also requested further engagement with NIH on longer-term costs of data to researchers and universities, data interoperability challenges, additional clarity on researcher compliance guidance, and the agency’s broad definition of “scientific data.”