NIH considers share, virtual experience to gather research data

The National Institutes of Health asked for feedback on its shared, virtual space for gathering research data, called “The Commons.”

NIH’s The Commons will help ensure that the digital artifacts of publicly funded research are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). NIH worked to implement The Commons concept through various pilot activities within its Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program.

NIH initially foresees The Common’s infrastructure through cloud computing services. The services would include an array of options, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

NIH released a sources sought notice in 2014 to determine an initial set of proposed conformance requirements for business relationships, interfaces, capacity, networking and connectivity, information assurance and authentication and authorization.

Officials will decide on these requirements based on industry and scientific feedback during January and February of 2016. They plan to open a process for providers of cloud compute services to become conformant as soon as practicable after they finalize the requirements.

NIH posted the draft conformance requirements.

With this special notice, NIH wants to know if companies can meet their ability to meet these requirements, and if researchers have dealt with any barriers using cloud services for hosting datasets.

NIH posted its special notice Jan. 20. Responses are due by Jan. 29.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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