There is broad interest in regulatory effectiveness, transparency, and access to data underpinning scientific research as it touches on fundamental aspects of the scientific process. The importance of ensuring public health and increasingly stringent and potentially costly regulations have further underscored the importance of these issues in government, industry and academic circles.
Access to underlying data is a key tool to evaluate the soundness of scientific research and regulations for which science is used. Throughout its history, HEI has had a commitment to transparency and data access, which extends to making data from HEI-funded studies available for reanalysis, replication, and extended analyses by others.
HEI maintains a strong policy on facilitating access to underlying data and methods for the studies it funds. Data Access Policy
In response to a request from the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2013, HEI explained its policy, experiences, and perspectives on data sharing issues in a letter to then EPA official, Lek Kadeli. Letter to Lek Kadeli
HEI has facilitated and funded the creation of databasess compiled for large research programs, such as NMMAPS and RIOPA, that provide access to those data for other researchers.
HEI has funded studies to further delve into scientific questions raised by original work, especially in the area of accountability research, that have provided important insights regarding the original findings. (See for example the reports by Dockery, Peel, and Wong and their colleagues.)
Going forward, HEI plans to emphasize such efforts by continuing to identify and promote approaches to data sharing, discuss how to make data more widely available, and identify challenges to data sharing in the context of confidentiality and other privacy protections.