American Heart Association Public Access Policy - Data

The AHA requires certain applicants to follow a two-step process as part of its data sharing policy:

  1. A data sharing plan submitted as part of the funding proposal if factual data will be needed for independent verification of research result (to be reviewed and updated as necessary throughout the research lifecycle).
  2. Deposit dataset(s) in an AHA Acceptable Data Repositories within 12 months of the end of the funding period (and any no-cost extension).

What do I need to submit as a part of my funding proposal?

Applicants will be prompted to answer each of the following questions when completing a data plan in the application. Your data sharing plan should answer the following questions:

  1. What data outputs will the research generate?
  2. When will the data be shared?
  3. Where will the data be made available?
  4. Are any limits to data sharing required?

Any costs associated with preparing data for sharing may be covered by award funds and must be tracked in the project budget and financial reports. In most circumstances, additional grant funds will not be required to comply with the Open Data Policy.

All data must be properly documented. The documentation, or metadata, is necessary so that others can properly use and interpret the data.

Exemptions include recipients of the following early-career awards: Undergraduate Fellowships, Medical Student Research Fellowships, Predoctoral Fellowships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Mentor/AHA Mentee Awards, and Mentored Clinical and Population Research Awards.

In addition, some applicants may request an exemption, an opt-out request must be submitted explaining why the Open Data policy should be waived in their case. These exemptions generally fall under the following categories: human subjects, superseding regulatory policies, intellectual property, and financial.

Where do I deposit datasets?

AHA grants awardees flexibility in selecting a data repository that is most compatible with their data. Any data repository that is approved by AHA, must meet certain criteria. If a desired repository is not currently approved by the AHA, the applicant may request in the application that the AHA consider a specific  repository for approval. If the repository is approved, it will be added to the list of AHA Acceptable Data Repositories.

When do I need to submit my datasets?

Awardees should make their data publicly available as soon as possible. All pertinent data must be made freely and publicly available within 12 months of the end of funding period (and any no-cost extension).

How do I submit? 

Before submitting your data to your chosen repository, you will need to follow several steps.

  • De-identify your data if appropriate
  • Put your data in an open, machine-readable file format such as .csv
  • Document the dataset thoroughly in a separate readme.txt file, and/or create metadata according to the scheme required by your chosen repository

See Data Management Best Practices Primer for help in fleshing out these steps fleshing out these steps.

Are there any compliance requirements?

In situations where AHA or other researchers feel that AHA-funded researchers are not sharing data consistent with AHA’s open data policy, you may be asked to demonstrate your compliance. If you cannot, it may affect future funding.

More Information:

For more information from the UA Libraries, see Data Management Resources