Ready, set, share! making data freely available

Kaiser and Brainard in Science:

Physiologist Alejandro Caicedo of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is preparing a grant proposal to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is feeling unusually stressed because of a new requirement that takes effect today. Along with his research idea, to study why islet cells in the pancreas stop making insulin in people with diabetes, he will be required to submit a plan for managing the data the project produces and sharing them in public repositories.

For his lab, that’s a daunting task. Unlike neuroscience or genomics, Caicedo’s field has no common platforms or standards for storing and sharing the kinds of data his lab generates, such as videos of pancreatic islet cells responding to a glucose stimulus. The “humongous” raw imaging files are currently stored in an on-campus database, notes Julia Panzer, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab. To protect patient privacy, the database is secured and not designed to provide access to outsiders. Sharing the data will mean uploading them somewhere else.

More here.