Simplifying research access to genomics and health data with Library Cards

Sci Data. 2018 Mar 14;5:180039. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.39.


The volume of genomics and health data is growing rapidly, driven by sequencing for both research and clinical use. However, under current practices, the data is fragmented into many distinct datasets, and researchers must go through a separate application process for each dataset. This is time-consuming both for the researchers and the data stewards, and it reduces the velocity of research and new discoveries that could improve human health. We propose to simplify this process, by introducing a standard Library Card that identifies and authenticates researchers across all participating datasets. Each researcher would only need to apply once to establish their bona fides as a qualified researcher, and could then use the Library Card to access a wide range of datasets that use a compatible data access policy and authentication protocol.