FABBS Sponsors NASEM Study and Offers Webinar Series on Data Standards; NIH Releases Final Policy for Data Management

November 5, 2020

FABBS is pleased to lend our support and sponsor a consensus study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) on Accelerating Behavioral Science Through Ontology Development and Use. NASEM defines ontologies as systematic classification systems and/or knowledge structures with agreed-upon labels and definitions. Ontologies are essential to provide a usable framework to enable efficient knowledge generation, organization, reuse, integration, and analysis. The goal of this study is to “define the scope of ontology development for behavioral science research (BSR), summarize the state of behavioral ontology development and use in BSR, and identify compelling use cases as well as approaches, gaps, and challenges that need to be addressed”. NASEM invites the community to provide feedback on this project.

On October 29, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued the Final Policy for Data Management and Sharing, requiring NIH-funded researchers to prospectively submit a plan outlining how scientific data will be managed and shared. The Policy reinforces NIH’s continued commitment to make behavioral and biomedical research findings broadly available, and reflects the agency’s view that responsible data management and sharing advances science and benefits the public, replacing the 2003 NIH Data Sharing Policy. NIH has expressed a commitment to continue to engage the community to support the change and implementation of this new Policy, which will take effect January 25, 2023.

Read more from NIH about the policy:

To support our FABBS members’ efforts to meet data management and sharing requirements and thinking about the long-term opportunities for data interoperability, FABBS organized a series of webinars: Data Standards for Behavioral and Brain Sciences providing the opportunity to hear from federal leaders and experienced researchers.

Relatedly, FABBS submitted comments to the Strategic Opportunities and Challenges for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at NIH. FABBS comments encouraged the NLM to be consistent with NIH’s own plans to update the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for FY 2021-2025. Proposed revisions to Objective 1 in the NIH plan expanded language to “Advance Opportunities in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences.” The objective had previously been limited to ‘Biomedical’ science. In addition, FABBS encouraged NLM to consider the qualities of Basic Experimental Studies Involving Humans (BESH), as it continues to improve upon study registration. Comments underscored distinctions by explaining that BESH may involve studies that are exploratory; use multiple, small studies reported as experiments, projects, or programs; show results in non-aggregated or nontabular form; and use a large number of outcome measures outside of protocols.