NIH Human Microbiome Project Consortium Publication and Presentation Policies

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has been designated as a community resource project to accelerate access to and use of HMP data by the entire scientific community. Accordingly, the HMP data release policy is based on the principles of rapid data release to the scientific community set forth in the Fort Lauderdale agreement on Sharing Data from Large-Scale Biological Research Projects.

Publication Moratorium for HMP Demonstration Projects

Definition: Sequence and clinical data from all HMP Demonstration Projects must be deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive or Trace Archive and dbGaP within one week of being generated. However, all such data will be subject to a publication moratorium. A publication moratorium (also called a publication or data embargo) is a protected period of time during which the data originator has an exclusive right to publish or present on the data, beginning from the date of data submission to a public database. It is expected that no one other than the data originator will submit a paper for publication on the data during the moratorium period. For longitudinal studies where there are multiple data sets submitted over time, each submitted data set will have its own moratorium period.

The research participants must have given informed consent to allow the submission of the clinical data to the databases.

The HMP publication moratorium period for HMP Demonstration Projects is up to 12 months from the date of data submission or upon publication by the data originator, whichever is sooner. This policy is in effect unless and until it is superseded by other NIH policy.

HMP initiatives to which it applies: The publication moratorium is applicable to data generated from all HMP Demonstration Projects. Data from the HMP Demonstration Projects will be specifically identified in the database as subject to a maximum 12-month publication moratorium. The moratorium will be recognized by the community to enhance research and data sharing in this area. Furthermore, the HMP will contact journal editors to encourage them to act in accord with the data release guidelines and principles for HMP publications by not entertaining papers submitted for publication before the date the applicable moratorium expires.

The publication moratorium is not applicable to reference genome data or normal human subjects data generated from the HMP Sequencing Centers. Note that it is expected that the HMP Sequencing Centers will publish global analyses of the reference genomes and the normal human samples from the data they generate.

Users of any HMP Consortium data, whether members of the HMP Consortium or not, should be aware of the publication status of the data they use and treat the data accordingly. For example, all investigators, including other HMP Consortium members, should obtain the consent of the data originators before using unpublished data in their individual publications.

Investigators outside of the HMP Consortium are free to use the HMP Consortium data, either en masse or specific subsets, but are expected to follow the 12-month publication moratorium from the date of data submission from HMP Demonstration Projects. When using data from the HMP consortium, data users should always cite the source of the data and should acknowledge the data originators from the HMP Consortium. Outside investigators who perform an in-depth analysis of data from the HMP Consortium and are interested in publishing a report before the data producers do so are encouraged to discuss their results with the data originator(s) and to establish collaborations. However, the HMP Consortium members are not required to collaborate with any outside investigators. All investigators, through their roles as journal and grant reviewers, should enforce a high standard of respect for the scientific contribution of the data originators.

HMP Consortium members will not have privileged access to data from other members of the HMP Consortium. Rather, all data shared by the HMP Consortium members will be obtained from public databases.

Group Publications

Occasionally, there may be a publication from the HMP group that will have group authorship. Group authorship may be marked as such, for example, "The Human Microbiome Project Research Network"; or "The Human Microbiome Project Consortium";. The individual authors' names should also be identified; where and how this occurs depends on journal policy. Efforts should be made to identify individuals' roles on the project. The submission journal should be decided jointly by the authors. Concerns about authorship or identification of the corresponding author(s) should be addressed by the Steering Committee.

Joint publications among members of the HMP Consortium, but not involving the entire Consortium, should have authorship determined by the scientists involved in the project. For such collaborative projects, it is always best to consider authorship early on.

Individual Publications

It is completely acceptable and expected that individual projects will publish their results. Because of the publication moratorium for HMP Demonstration projects, it is expected that papers from the data originators will be written and submitted as rapidly as possible.

Publication and Presentation Notification

NHGRI Program analysts will issue a monthly call for submitted publications and planned presentations of data generated from the HMP Consortium. The list will be made available to the Consortium.

This page last reviewed on July 31, 2013