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Opening the entire research cycle

Since the birth of the open access movement in 2002, demands for greater openness and transparency in the research process have both grown and broadened. Today there are calls not just for OA to research papers, but (amongst other things) to the underlying data, to peer review reports, and to lab notebooks. We have also seen a new term emerge to encompass these different trends: open science. In response to…

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Sharing Clinical Trial Data

Data sharing can accelerate new discoveries by avoiding duplicative trials, stimulating new ideas for research, and enabling the maximal scientific knowledge and benefits to be gained from the efforts of clinical trial participants and investigators. At the same time, sharing clinical trial data presents risks, burdens, and challenges. These include the need to protect the privacy and honor the consent of clinical trial participants; safeguard the legitimate economic interests of…

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Avoiding Data Pitfalls, Part 1: Gaps Between Data and Reality

It’s easy when working with data to treat it as reality rather than data collected about reality. Here are some examples: It’s not crime, it’s reported crime. It’s not the number of meteor strikes, it’s the number of recorded meteor strikes. It’s not the outer diameter of a mechanical part, it’s the measured outer diameter. It’s not how the public feels about a controversial topic, it’s how survey respondents are…

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Neurodata without borders

The Allen Institute for Brain Science, California Institute of Technology, New York University School of Medicine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) are collaborating on a project aimed at making databases about the brain more useable and accessible for neuroscientists—a step seen as critical to accelerating the pace of discoveries about the brain in health and disease. With funding from GE, The…

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Emerging best practices in dataset collection development

Secondary datasets are increasingly important to researchers as they attempt to answer questions, make predictions and test hypotheses in new and powerful ways. For libraries that strive to provide information to support research needs, these datasets can be considered a ‘new currency’ in collection development. There are many unique considerations in the collection and acquisition of datasets. Currently existing dataset collection development policies, guidelines and programs were gathered from web…

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Sloan Foundation backs new data infrastructure effort

The Data Conservancy, IEEE, and Portico announced today their partnership to design and prototype a data curation infrastructure that connects published research and associated data sets for the long-term benefit of researchers worldwide. This two-year project, which is supported by a $602,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will result in the development of a service that will build, store, update, and retrieve the connections among publications and data,…

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Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data

Two pages (scan) from Galilei’s Sidereus Nuncius (“The Starry Messenger” or “The Herald of the Stars”), Venice, 1610 In the early 1600s, Galileo Galilei turned a telescope toward Jupiter. In his log book each night, he drew to-scale schematic diagrams of Jupiter and some oddly moving points of light near it. Galileo labeled each drawing with the date. Eventually he used his observations to conclude that the Earth orbits the…

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Got data tools? NSF wants to hear about you

How scientific research is conducted across all science disciplines is changing. One important direction of change is toward more open science, often driven by projects in which the output is purely digital, i.e., software or data. Scientists and engineers who develop software and generate data for their research spend significant time in the initial development of software or data frameworks, where they focus on the instantiation of a new idea,…

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