Open Data Ecosystem for the Neurosciences, ODEN 2016

That’s right. Science and data sharing in the same sentence.

This week I attended the inaugural ODEN 2016 –  a meeting dedicated to advancing openness and data sharing in neuroscience research.

That’s right. Science and data sharing in the same sentence.. This meeting was revolutionary in many ways:

  1. A group of academics from different institutions got together to talk about sharing data
  2. A group of academics used Slack to chat online during the conference
  3. A group of academics were able to agree

Jokes aside, to an early PhD student, this meeting was one of the most promising things I have seen for the future of neuroscience research.

No one lab will solve the problem of cognition, to understand how the brain works we will eventually need to combine our data

Two ideas from the workshop that made me unspeakably happy were:

  1. We need a cultural shift in neuroscience (and all scientific) research, which places greater emphasis on sharing data, and rewards openness
  2. Digital research (code & simulation) needs to be repeatable. That means using tools like GitHub and DockerHub to track your work.

There were a lot of big ideas at the workshop – terms like reproducible science  and fixing research were tossed around. But we can also start small. Here are a few easy things you can implement right now:

  1. Get easy citations: publish your next data set in a dedicated data journal  (there are some pretty high impact ones – Nature Scientific DataGigaDBFrontiers Data Reports)
  2. Build your online profile: publish all your code online
  3. Increase your impact factor: put links to your data and code on ResearchGate, LinkedIn, your social media of choice…
  4. Think ahead: include a section on data sharing in your next experiment consent form (see this template)


A write up of the workshop is published here

For more info also see the agenda below:
ODEN 2016 Agenda
July 25th & 26th, 2016
Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC

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