National Library of Medicine Seeks Input on the Use of Common Data Elements in NIH-funded Research

The NIH National Library of Medicine (NLM) is seeking input on the use of Common Data Elements (CDEs) in research funded by NIH.

CDEs are standardized, precisely defined questions paired with a set of specific allowable responses that are used systematically across different sites, studies, or clinical trials to ensure consistent data collection. Using CDEs fosters rigor and responsibility in research and the reuse of properly consented data for future research projects. Collecting data with CDEs facilitates data sharing and interoperability, enabling integration and meta-analysis of data across multiple studies. CDEs can also improve data quality, promote research reproducibility, enable data harmonization across studies, and increase the “FAIRness” of datathe extent to which they are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

In this recently released Request for Information (RFI), NLM is especially interested in using CDEs in the context of COVID-19, including opportunities for advancing research with CDEs, challenges to adopting CDEs, and guidance or tools that could facilitate the use of CDEs. Given the urgent need to develop new vaccines and therapeutics, design tools for rapid diagnosis, and understand the health impacts of COVID-19, CDEs are an important tool for collecting data in systematic and consistent ways to facilitate their use and reuse. 

Responses to this RFI should be submitted via webform and received by May 10, 2021.