Making Data Accessible to All

Categories: Workshops
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Published on: October 18, 2012

In July 2012, GARNet held a workshop entitled ‘Making Data Accessible to All’. Speakers included Mark Hahnel, founder of Figshare, TGAC Genome Analysis team leader David Swarbreck, senior editors and publishers from publishing groups, and a number of academics with experience in data dissemination. Together, workshop speakers and delegates discussed the current challenges in data storage, which data are ‘valuable’ and which may reasonably be left behind, and who should have the responsibility of sharing, storing, and curating data.

The report containing the summary of this workshop concludes that incentive, policing measures, and shifts in culture are needed in order for data sharing to take hold and bear fruit within biology as a whole. Funding bodies, universities, and publishers and journals can provide important ‘sticks and carrots’ by shifting priorities and attitudes to support the practice of data sharing, with all its demands. At the same time, researchers need to seriously commit to data sharing by making it part of their principal aims and outputs. In most cases, community involvement matters much more than the availability of technology. Recent initiatives to encourage data publication, such as data only journals, and data sharing, principally Dryad and Figshare, are acknowledged as important drivers of the shift toward an ethos of data sharing.

To see the resources and repositories GARNet recommends for sharing different types of data, including plant-specific ones, see this post.

Full list of speakers at the workshop: Sabina Leonelli, Andrew Millar, Nick Smirnoff, Jay Moore, Jacob Newman, Mary Traynor, Giles Jonker, Ruth Wilson, Mark Hahnel, Claire Bird, Sean May, David Swarbreck, Alan Pottage, and Paul Burlinson. Their affiliations and their presentation slides can be found on the UKPSF website.

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