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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

About Our Work

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


Committee Member Biographies and Meeting Information


Upcoming Meetings

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


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



Past Meetings

September 4, 2018           Two-year study begins

February 27-28, 2019       First committee Meeting

March 12-13, 2019           Second committee meeting

May 6-7, 2019                  Third committee meeting (Agenda)

July 11-12, 2019               Two-day workshop and webcast