HEI Communication 12 describes a project by Dr Scott Zeger and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that was funded by HEI to make data and software from the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS) available to the wider research and policy communities. This Communication contains the Project Report, which describes the Internet-Based Health and Air Pollution Surveillance System (iHAPSS), along with Comments from some members of the HEI Health Research and Review Committees and other experts who had used the data.
HEI has always recognized that, to be credible, the science it funds and the data underlying it must be transparent to other interested parties, as formalized in its Data Access Policy. Increasing access to data enhances credibility by providing transparency about the research process and data interpretation. It also provides an opportunity for other researchers to validate and reanalyze the results and to perform additional analyses. Because of the importance of NMMAPS in science and regulatory decisions, research groups interested in conducting additional data analyses have requested access to NMMAPS data. In response, Dr Zeger and colleagues submitted a proposal to create a website that would provide electronic access to NMMAPS data and to the software used for the data analyses. This approach was intended to facilitate study replication and new analyses. It was also expected to reduce the burden on the NMMAPS investigators to respond to numerous individual requests for information. This model could potentially be applied to other results of high interest for regulatory and public health purposes.
The iHAPPS website can be accessed at www.ihapss.jhsph.edu. For more information about HEI's Data Access Policy please refer to the current Request for Applications booklet on our funding page. The HEI Policy on the Provision of Access to Data Underlying HEI-Funded Studies is available as an Appendix to the RFA booklet.