April 17, 2015
An article published in Applied & Translational Genomics addresses the issues hindering efficient and ethical genomic data sharing in the human genomics research community. This investigation, conducted by the DNAdigest, includes qualitative interviews followed by an online survey. The interviews identified four bottlenecks for data sharing which includes finding relevant and usable data (data discovery), obtaining authorisation to access data, formatting data as well as storing and moving data. Depending on the field, researchers cited either lack of time or potential loss of future publications as some of the reasons for not making more of their own data available to others, even when they have the authority and consent to do so. A lack of sufficient resources to make their data available was also a concern for these researchers.
The results of the online survey, containing questions that addressed the issues identified through the interviews, showed agreement with the findings described above. According to the authors, “it is important to continuously assess available solutions which facilitate data sharing/access and promote the mechanisms and practices that make the greatest impact”.