publication at least 30 days before submission to a journal or other print or electronic media. Copies of presentations to be delivered at conferences or meetings that are open to the public or that have media coverage should also be submitted to the NIP and NCHS at least 15 days before presentation.
Failure to comply with either of those reporting requirements could be grounds for NCHS to deny future access to VSD data through the data sharing program.
The VSD is a complex database, and generally only sophisticated users will be able to master use of its data files. The NIP and NCHS may want to explore the creation of a basic analytic file that could be used to answer many questions of interest to external researchers. Such a data file would not replace all specific data files that might be requested by independent external researchers for particular studies, but it could serve as a useful resource for many researchers to develop and refine hypotheses and to begin understanding how to use the VSD files in the RDC.
The committee recognizes that the creation of such a data file, with full protections of confidentiality, would require considerable time and effort. The cost of such a resource should be assessed and made publicly available so that Congress and other stakeholders would have the information necessary to make an informed decision regarding a possible investment of public funds. The creation of such a data file should be pursued only if additional funds are made available for the purpose. The availability of a cleaned, standard analytic file to a variety of researchers could help to foster appropriate use of the dataset by external researchers and to reduce the burden on both NCHS and researchers who want to analyze VSD data.