At the National Human Genome Research Institute, we believe that broadly sharing research data will result in maximum public benefit, and we're committed to providing researchers with access to genomic data. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genomic Data Sharing Policy establishes a system to promote data sharing, while also protecting research participants involved in genomics studies. Today, we need your help to improve one of NIH's central data sharing tools for human genomic data, the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, or dbGaP.
dbGaP is a controlled-access data repository that serves as a central portal to submit, locate and request access to genomic and associated phenotypic data. It is a valuable and rapidly growing resource with over 750 studies available for access, representing over 1.2 million unique research participants. Users of dbGaP have access to a wide range of data types such as microarray, genome-wide association study, whole and targeted genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic, and metagenomic data.
Over the years, dbGaP users have shared their feedback, and many have expressed a number of frustrations relating to the difficulty in navigating the data submission and access processes. To address these concerns, NIH has made a number of improvements to dbGaP (see Box 1). To best serve the needs of the research community and enable robust and responsible data sharing, it is imperative that new resources, tools, and data management models be developed to make the system as user-friendly and efficient as possible, as well as increase its utility.
With this in mind, NIH released today a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comments on the data submission and access processes for dbGaP, and on the management of data within dbGaP, in order to consider options to improve and streamline these processes.
To view the RFI and for instructions on how to comment, please visit NIH Request for Information on Processes for database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) Data Submission, Access, and Management.
For more information on the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy, please visit NIH Genomic Data Sharing.
We invite all stakeholders within the genomics community to provide comment, so that NIH can take your thoughts and ideas into account while working to increase the utility of dbGaP as a data sharing tool. Comments will be accepted until April 7, 2017.
Box 1: Recent Improvements/Upgrades to dbGAP
Posted: February 21, 2017