data access

OSTP Requests Feedback on Data Repositories and Data Sharing

The While House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a Request for Public Comment on January 17 on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting from Federally Funded Research. The request, published in the Federal Register, was issued on behalf of the multi-agency Subcommittee on Open Science of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science. The proposed set of desirable characteristics are intended to improve the consistency of information that federal agencies provide to the scientific community about the long-term preservation of data resulting from federally funded research. The Subcommittee on Open…

ICPSR Launches Pilot Tool to Streamline Access to Restricted Federal Data

In December, ICPSR at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research released a new tool to simplify the application process for accessing restricted microdata from principal statistical agencies. ResearchDataGov gives researchers access to a single portal and a standard application to access restricted data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. More federal data sources are expected to be added as the pilot moves forward. The project is supported by funding from the Census…

NIH Seeks Input on the Need for an Administrative Data Enclave

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the potential development of a secure data enclave within the NIH using existing funds. This enclave would allow approved research organizations to access sensitive non-public NIH information such as information on peer review outcomes, grant progress reports, and demographic information of NIH grant applicants. NIH approval would be required for researchers to access the data. The NIH is seeking information about this proposed data enclave including examples of research that is currently not pursuable without such access, whether the benefits of a data enclave are worth…

NSF Releases Open Government Plan 4.0

Earlier this month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released the latest iteration of its transparency plan, Open Government Plan 4.0. NSF’s original plan, (version 1.0) was developed in 2010 in response to a 2009 White House directive calling for federal agencies to “implement the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration” across their activities and functions. This newest report, issued last week, reflects updates that have been made to federal guidelines pertaining to open government practices. The plan covers a variety of topics, including specific NSF transparency initiatives, the use of social media for communicating with the public, Freedom of Information…

Public Comment Sought for Death Master File Certification Program

On December 30, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register for the establishment of a certification program to “certify” persons to access Death Master File (DMF) information about an individual within three years of that individual’s death. The new program would replace the temporary certification program in place since 2013. The deadline for comments has been extended to March 30. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

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