Common Fund exRNA Communication Consortium (ERCC) Data Sharing and Access Policy

Revised December, 2015

The ERCC. The ERCC is a community resource project designed to catalyze exRNA research activities in the scientific community. Thus, data are shared with the scientific community PRIOR to publication. In pre-publication data sharing, the desire to share data widely with the scientific community must be balanced with the desire for the data generators to have a protected period of time to analyze and publish the data they have produced.

ERCC Data Sharing Policy. The following policy has been developed to address this balance. By accessing pre-publication ERCC data, users agree to adhere to these policies and to follow appropriate scientific etiquette regarding collaboration, publication, and authorship.

The entity responsible for ERCC data deposition is the ERCC Data Management and Resource Repository (DMRR). All data are date stamped by the DMRR upon receipt from the data producers. The DMRR processes all ERCC data through consortium-approved analysis pipelines to ensure that the data are processed in a uniform fashion.
ERCC Pre-publication Data Sharing.
Users of the pre-publication ERCC data agree to a protected period (embargo) of 12 months AFTER the DMRR date stamp.

By requesting and accepting any released ERCC dataset, the user:
  • Agrees to comply with this pre-publication data sharing policy
  • May access and analyze ERCC data
  • May NOT submit any analyses or conclusions for publication or scientific meeting presentation until the 12 month embargo period for that dataset has ended, or the data generator has published a manuscript on the data, whichever comes first
  • Takes full responsibility for adhering to a 12 month embargo period and is responsible for being aware of the publication status of the data they use
  • Agrees to cite ERCC data appropriately in meeting presentations and publications

Researchers wishing to publish on datasets prior to the expiration of the embargo should discuss their plans with the data generator(s) and must obtain their consent prior to using the unpublished data in their individual publications or grant submissions.

Following expiration of the embargo period, any investigator may submit manuscripts or make presentations without restriction, including integrated analyses using multiple unrestricted datasets.

Proper Citation of the Datasets Used. Researchers who use ERCC datasets in oral presentations or publications are expected to cite the Consortium in all of the following ways:

  • Cite the ERCC overview publication [“The NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium.” J Extracell Vesicles. 2015 Aug 28;4:27493. doi: 10.3402/jev.v4.27493. eCollection 2015. (PMID: 26320938)
  • Reference the website and/or GEO accession numbers of the datasets
  • Acknowledge the NIH Common Fund, ERCC and the ERCC data producer that generated the dataset(s)

Data Quality Metrics. The consortium is still in the process of developing consensus data quality metrics for different assay types so that data users will have a sense of the relative quality of a given data set. We encourage the scientific community to use these pre-publication datasets, however users should be aware that final determinations concerning the quality of a given dataset might not become clear until the consortium performs an integrative analysis of all the data produced by the ERCC.

Unrestricted-Access and Controlled-Access Datasets. The ERCC will generate both unrestricted-access (e.g. GEO) and controlled-access datasets (e.g. dbGaP). Currently only unrestricted-access datasets are available. Once controlled-access ERCC datasets become available, we will update this link and describe in more detail how they can be accessed through dbGaP (

Questions? Please contact the exRNA Team (brl-exrna at bcm dot edu).

Also available in: HTML TXT