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Forecasting Costs for Preserving, Archiving, and Promoting Access to Biomedical Data

Sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Statement of Task

A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine-appointed ad hoc committee will develop and demonstrate a framework for forecasting long-term costs for preserving, archiving, and accessing various types of biomedical data and estimating potential future benefits to research. In so doing, the committee will examine and evaluate the following considerations:

  • Economic factors to be considered when examining the life-cycle cost for data sets (e.g., data acquisition, preservation, and dissemination);
  • Cost consequences for various practices in accessioning and de-accessioning data sets;
  • Economic factors to be considered in designating data sets as high value;
  • Assumptions built in to the data collection and/or modeling processes;
  • Anticipated technological disruptors and future developments in data science in a 5- to 10-year horizon; and
  • Critical factors for successful adoption of data forecasting approaches by research and program management staff.

The committee will provide two case studies illustrating application of the framework to different biomedical contexts relevant to the National Library of Medicine’s data resources. Relevant life-cycle costs will be delineated, as well as the assumptions underlying the models. To the extent practicable, the committee will identify strategies to communicate results and gain acceptance of the applicability of these models.

As part of its information gathering, the committee will plan and organize a 2-day workshop to gather input on the following topics:

  • Tools and practices that NLM could use to better integrate risk management practices and considerations into data preservation, archiving, and accessing decisions;
  • Methods to encourage NLM-funded researchers to consider, update, and track lifetime data costs (e.g., through data management plans and project renewals, or other interactions with the NIH); and
  • Burdens on the academic researchers and industry staff to implement these tools, methods, and practices.

U.S. National Library of Medicine Blog Post

NLM Funds Study to Forecast Long-Term Costs of Data

Important Dates

Below are tentative dates for the committee meetings, workshop, and site visits. Official dates will be announced soon.

  • September 4, 2018: Two-year study begins
  • February 27, 2019 from 10 a.m.-2:45 p.m. First Committee Meeting
  • Early March, 2019: second committee meeting
  • May 6-7, 2019: third committee meeting (RegisterDownload Agenda)
  • July 11-12, 2019: 2-day workshop and webcast (More Information and Register - Download Preliminary Agenda)
  • July-August 2019: Site visits
  • September 17-18, 2019: fourth committee meeting
  • October 29-30, 2019: fifth committee meeting
  • March 2020: Report release
  • March – August, 2020: Dissemination activities

Committee Member Biographies and Meeting Information