Principles and Obstacles for Sharing Data from Environmental Health Research: Workshop Summary
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On March 19, 2014, the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in conjunction with the Committee on Science, Technology, and the Law, both of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, held a workshop on the topic of the sharing of data from environmental health research. Experts in the field of environmental health agree that there are benefits to sharing research data, but questions remain regarding how to effectively make these data available. The sharing of data derived from human subjects—making them both transparent and accessible to others—raises a host of ethical, scientific, and process questions that are not always present in other areas of science, such as physics, geology, or chemistry. Through presentations from invited speakers and discussions among all attendees, the workshop participants explored key concerns, principles, and obstacles to the responsible sharing of data used in support of environmental health research and policy making while focusing on protecting the privacy of human subjects and addressing the concerns of the research community.