Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Recently issued NIH policy statement and implementation guidelines (National Institutes of Health, 2003) promote the sharing of research data. While urging that “all data should be considered for data sharing” and “data should be made as widely and freely available as possible” the current policy requires only high-direct-cost (> US $500,000/yr) grantees to share research data, starting 1 October 2003. Data sharing is central to science, and we agree that data should be made available. As investigators funded by the NIH’s Human Brain Project, we have promoted data sharing and thus applaud the initiation of a meaningful data-sharing policy. We have also explored relat- ed technical and sociological benefits and barriers, and our support is coupled to proposals for improvement and extension of the policy and guidelines. This perspective is based on our experience advancing the field of neuroinformatics and thus it is proper that we use the pages of Neuroinformatics to advance it. We offer this perspective as a private effort on our part, not an NIH-sponsored or initiated activity. Our goal is to ensure that data sharing is, and is recognized to be, effective and rewarding.