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FASEB DataWorks! Celebrates a Year of Impact and Growth

Saturday, September 17, 2022
FASEB is proud to celebrate the one-year anniversary of DataWorks! this month. Impact and growth were the underlying themes for the initiative this past year as key components were launched, which enabled hundreds of researchers to learn, exchange ideas, and share their stories of data sharing and reuse.

A Look Back and a Path Forward  
Researchers and their institutions face a growing need to actively manage data—for their own benefit, as well as to comply with funder and publisher requirements. Professional societies play a key role in supporting their researchers, enabling this change, and bringing key stakeholders together. FASEB launched DataWorks! last September as its strategic initiative to bring the biological and biomedical research communities together to advance human health through data sharing and reuse. DataWorks! is here to support a culture of data sharing and reuse in the biological and biomedical research community. To do this, FASEB is focused on creating the spaces, tools, and rewards that support researchers to learn about and use data management. Here are some of our accomplishments in the last year. 

DataWorks! Salons gathered researchers together to educate each other, illuminate best practices, and innovate new solutions. In our first year, 11 Salons with more than 500 participants, covered a range of topics, including “Digitizing Your Lab,” “Making a Data Management Plan,” “Understanding the 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy,” “Data Sharing and Reuse Best Practices,” and “FAIR and CARE Principles for Data Management.” These discussions have enabled new connections among researchers and key data service providers, and helped all stakeholders consider approaches to these important issues. 

We also launched the DataWorks! Prize, which recognizes and supports biological and biomedical research teams that integrate data sharing and reuse to advance human health. The Prize, in partnership with NIH Office of Data Science Strategy, will distribute up to $500,000 in awards to teams whose research demonstrates the power of data sharing or reuse practices to advance scientific discovery and human health. More than 500 researchers participated in the inaugural DataWorks! Prize across many disciplines, including molecular biology, immunology, biochemistry, neuroscience, clinical research, and genomics. This month the judges advanced 50 teams to Stage 2, and winners will be announced in January. 

Helping the biological and biomedical research community prepare for the forthcoming NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy is a key focus of the DataWorks! initiative. The DMP Challenge was launched to help researchers practice creating data management plans and receive expert feedback and cash rewards. In partnership with the Network of the National Library of Medicine and DMPTool, we will award up to ten $500 awards. In April we awarded the first DMP Challenge prize to Damian Romero at the University of Arizona. The Challenge is now accepting a second round of applications, which are due by October 21.

To make this work possible, FASEB expanded the dedicated DataWorks! staff, beginning with a community manager and program director, with more to come. Valuing community feedback, this year we also launched the DataWorks! Advisory Committee, whose diverse and robust expertise is helping to develop the initiative in line with community needs. 

Looking at the path forward, first on our list is developing and piloting the first modules of the DataWorks! Help Desk. This resource will provide key guidance for the biological and biomedical research community to navigate and adopt data sharing and reuse policies and practices, including how to navigate the forthcoming NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. A new manager will join the DataWorks! team to oversee the Help Desk, as well as build out interactive Help Desk features—all leveraging the resources of the global data management community. 

A principle in developing DataWorks! is to understand and work closely with researchers, partners, and other stakeholders in the community. FASEB needs ongoing input and feedback from researchers to ensure our services align with community needs and we are eager to partner and expand our collaborations for mutual benefit. To give us your thoughts, ideas, and to learn more, email us