Q: I am a researcher and I would like to utilize BLSA data for my research. Can BLSA data and specimens be utilized by researchers?
A: Researchers at NIH and at other academic and research institutions in the United States and internationally are welcome—and encouraged—to use BLSA data and specimens for scientific projects and grant applications.
Q: How do I get started applying to use BLSA data?
A: After reviewing the BLSA Date Use website, if you decide that you wish to use BLSA data and specimens for scientific projects or grant applications, please submit a registration request by clicking “Login” on the top right corner of this page and submitting a registration request. After submitting the registration request, you will receive a confirmation of account creation within 5 business days. At that point, you will be able to submit a Pre-Analysis Plan for the use of BLSA Data. (See “How to Apply”.)
Q: I plan to create several manuscripts. May I submit a single Pre-Analysis Plan all of the manuscripts that I anticipate creating?
A: You should develop an Analysis Plan for EACH ANTICIPATED MANUSCRIPT.
Q: How can I create a Pre-Analysis Plan for the use of BLSA data?
A: A Pre-Analysis plan is a short summary of what you would like to do with BLSA data or specimens. The required elements for a Pre-Analysis Plan are provided on the form. Remember that you must submit a Pre-Analysis Plan for each manuscript you plan to develop.
Q: How will my Pre-Analysis and Analysis plans be evaluated?
Once submitted, the BLSA Data Sharing Proposal Review Committee will evaluate whether the Pre-Analysis Plan duplicates previous or current projects, leverages the unique characteristics of the BLSA database, aligns with the BLSA mission and objectives, and has scientific merit. Before you submit your Pre-Analysis Plan, please visit the “Search Approved Analysis Plans” link above to ensure your project does not duplicate existing work.
Q: When will I find out if my Pre-Analysis Plan has been approved?
A: Within 2 to 4 months of submitting your Pre-Analysis Plan, you will receive an e-mail stating whether your Pre-Analysis Plan was approved or rejected. If the Pre-Analysis Plan is approved, its status on My Account and Status page will change from "Pre-Analysis Plan Submitted" to "Pre-Analysis Plan Approved" and a link to a form where you can submit the full Analysis Plan will appear. A full Analysis Plan can be submitted only after a Pre-Analysis Plan is submitted and approved.
Q: What is the timeline for getting my plans approved and receiving the data?
A: Applicants should be prepared to work within the BLSA timelines for receiving data. Applicants should expect a minimum of 2-4 months from initial submission to approval of an analysis plan and a minimum of two more months to obtain NIH IRB approval and a completed NIH Data Sharing Agreement. Given the extremely limited internal resources for composing data sets for external use, applicants should assume an additional 2-4 months minimum to receive data. In total, the entire process is unlikely to be completed in less than 6 months and may take up to one year or longer, depending on the complexity of the request.
Q: What are the conditions or guidelines for utilizing BLSA data for my Analysis Plan?
A: Conditions for the use of BLSA data are listed in the document “BLSA data sharing for website” attached to the “How to Submit an Analysis Plan” page. Before submitting a Pre-Analysis plan, please download a copy of this document in either PDF or MS Word format for your records. By submitting a Pre-Analysis plan, you agree to the conditions for the use of BLSA data for your study.
Q: I am a member of the news media working on a story about the BLSA. Who should I contact?
Q: Where can I find general information on the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA)?
A: Please visit the National Institute on Aging website to learn more about the BLSA.
Q: Who should I contact with questions related to the BLSA?
A: Please visit the BLSA “Contact Us” page.