NIH Seeks Input on Resources for Data-Related Standards Used in Biomedical Science

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI): Input on Information Resources for Data-Related Standards Widely Used in Biomedical Science, seeking comments and ideas to inform the consideration of an NIH Standards Information Resource (NSIR) that would collect, organize, and make available to the public trusted, systematically organized, and curated information about data-related standards.

The potential initiative comes out of a NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K)-sponsored workshop, Frameworks for Community Based Standards Efforts. An emerging theme from the workshop is that investigators or other users currently have to choose among the wide variety of sometimes overlapping standards. This information would be more useful if it were systematically organized and consistently presented. As more biomedical research data become available in digital form and as the value of interconnecting heterogeneous data, tools, and resources become more integral to the science itself, investigators’ choices of data-related standards will need to be more deliberate.

The NIH BD2K initiative seeks input in two broad areas. First is NSIR content and relevant existing efforts that could inform the development of and /or enhance an NSIR. Specifically, the agency is pursuing comments on the metadata about standards that would provide the most benefit to end-users within an NSIR and why, and on information that may be more effectively provided through links to other resources. In addition, NIH is looking for input on the standards and/or types of standards considered most critical to include. Comments regarding existing relevant resources about data standards and how they are currently useful to end users are also invited.

Comments are due September 30, 2014. For additional information see Notice Number NOT-CA-14-054.

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