Starting next year, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be required to share any genomic data they collect in a central database. The new policy applies to both human and non-human genomic ‘large-scale’ data. Researchers will have no later than the date of initial publication to share their data, although deadlines are earlier in some instances.

“We’ve gone from a circumstance of saying, ‘Everybody should share data,’ to now saying, in the case of genomic data, ‘You must share data,’” said Eric D. Green, director of NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute.

Concerns had been raised in the scientific community about the draft policy—released in 2013— that the new requirement would place a large burden on researchers. According to the final policy released by NIH in late August, “While the resources needed to support data sharing are not trivial, NIH maintains that the investments are warranted by the significant discoveries made possible through the secondary use of the data.”

The policy will take effect with grant applications submitted to NIH on or after 25 January 2015, as well as for NIH intramural research projects.

Read the policy at


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