New online portal streamlines requests for massive data sets at 16 federal agencies
(8 Dec 2022) The U.S. government has just made it easier for social scientists to get their hands on federally collected data they need for research.
Starting today, an online portal offers one-stop shopping to apply for access to protected data sets maintained by 16 federal agencies. Scientists can search the site to find the data set they want and then, with one click, file an application. The site also allows them to track the status of their request.
An interagency group has spent the past 4 years figuring out how to harmonize and increase the transparency of processes that vary by agency and, in some cases, are dictated by specific legislation. The upshot, unveiled today after a soft launch earlier this year, is called the Standard Application Process (SAP).
Since February, researchers have been able to use the portal to find out which agency maintains the data set they would like to use and learn more about its characteristics. Now, the portal offers further streamlining. Scientists wanting data from multiple agencies, for example, won’t have to re-enter basic information about themselves and their research teams. Reviewers will apply the same criteria regardless of which agency holds the data set, and scientists can monitor the status of their applications. SAP is also expected to shorten the time it takes to complete the reviews and notify scientists.
The article in full is here.