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10 Tips and Tricks for drafting a successful data request

Few things are more frustrating than wasted time. The Vivli team wants to help you make the most of your valuable time, and to help make sure that your data request has the best possible chance for success. While access to data is a decision made by our data contributors (see our Members Page for more details), we do have some general tips and tricks for drafting your data request.
1. Use our resources. Vivli has several resources to help data requestors, including a Quick Start for Requesting Studies and a Data Request Form Worksheet that you can fill out offline, and share with other members of your research team. Both resources are full of specific information about the fields of the data request form that may require greater attention.
2. Ask for help. Vivli has dedicated staff ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have about the Vivli platform. You can contact our team via email to
3. Watch a webinar. Review our webinar on Keys to Submitting a Quality Research Proposal to a Data Sharing Platform, with representatives from our platform as well as the YODA Project; the Wellcome Trust IRP; and AbbVie. Vivli co-founder Dr. Ida Sim has also created a webinar to explain how to share and request data on Vivli; and Dr. Sarah Nevitt of the University of Liverpool provided Vivli users with an in-depth presentation on how to perform IPD meta-analysis. Check our library for additional webinar content.
4. Tell us about you & your team. When filling out the Lead Researcher and Statistician Researcher fields on the Data Request Form, make sure you list the specific training, qualifications, education or experience that qualifies you and your team to do the analysis described in your proposal.
5. Watch for abbreviations. We frequently see data requests full of abbreviations and acronyms. These time-savers can be helpful, but make sure you spell out the entire phrase the first time it appears in your data request so that it can be more easily understood when it is published on our website.
6. Be specific. Data contributors generally want to know how your project relates to the data you’ve requested. Make sure you tie the studies you’re requesting to a specific scientific question or hypothesis.
7. Check your dates. On the data request form, you must enter an anticipated start and completion date for your project. This refers to the timeline of your work on the Vivli platform only, so make sure the dates you enter reflect that.
8. Give it a title. After your data request is approved and you get access to the data, certain parts of your data request will be published on the Vivli website. This includes the title, so make sure you give your project a title that briefly describes your project.
9. Check it twice. While your data request will not be evaluated for its spelling or grammar, it is important to be sure that anyone who may be reviewing it can clearly understand the information. You can use our downloadable Data Request Form to draft your proposal and then copy the information into the platform when filling out the data request.
10.  Revisions requested? Don’t sweat it. Even if you follow all the tips above, your data request may still be sent back for revisions. These may come from the Vivli team, or from Data Contributors or other reviewers asking for more information or clarifications. Revising your request is an easy, straightforward process and the Vivli team is available to help every step of the way.