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FASEB Launches Data-sharing and Reuse Initiative

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
FASEB announces the launch of FASEB DataWorks!, a new initiative aimed at accelerating and enhancing research discoveries through data sharing and reuse.

FASEB DataWorks! will create an ecosystem that engages all stakeholders in the research process. The goals for this initiative are to accelerate discovery in the life sciences, increase data accessibility and leverage it to maximize the return on investment of research, and support compliance with funder policies on data stewardship.

The initiative features four components:
  • a series of salons to foster community conversations that explore data reuse barriers and solutions, as well as capture insights to improve data-sharing practices,
  • a Fellows program to help researchers and teams hone their data management and sharing skills and mentor their peers in data reuse strategies,
  • a data help desk and knowledgebase to offer guidance and peer mentoring on data-sharing policies and practices, and
  • an annual grand challenge prize to recognize research teams that accelerate discovery through data sharing and reuse.

Working Collaboratively
FASEB DataWorks! is designed to amplify data reuse best practices through partnerships with researchers and organizations active in the data-sharing ecosystem.

"For over 100 years, FASEB has served the life sciences research and education communities, committed to advancing and facilitating the highest standards of practice and collaborative, interactive research," said Patricia L. Morris, MS, PhD, Guest Investigator at the Rockefeller University, Senior Scientist at Chromocell, and FASEB President. "As experimental tools have evolved, large and complex databases have as well, providing challenges for researchers to effectively leverage data management and reuse. With this new initiative, FASEB offers stakeholders innovative and effective tools for their data reuse practices, thereby fostering and optimizing dissemination of biological and biomedical research results to advance science," she added. 

The inaugural FASEB DataWorks! Salon will take place online October 7 at 1 pm ET. This interactive event, which is open to all stakeholders with an interest in data sharing and reuse, will highlight FASEB’s partnership with Openscapes, an organization that works to show scientists the value of working collaboratively in teams. Participants will explore strategies to instill data-sharing practices within a research team, with the discussion informing the FASEB DataWorks! Fellows program.

Meeting a Critical Need
Data reuse is critical to advancing the scientific enterprise. However, biomedical and biological researchers have been slow to adopt data-sharing and reuse practices when compared with other fields such as physics, economics, and meteorology. While researchers may believe data sharing is beneficial, few actually take the steps to share their own research. Among their reasons for not adopting data-sharing best practices are concerns about intellectual property rights, limitations on future use of the data by their research team, and a lack of formal repositories for data storage and standardized methods of interpreting and annotating data. Additionally, researchers often do not have training in data management techniques or may not have access to data-sharing solutions relevant to their data types and research environments. These conditions limit collaboration and slow the discovery process.  

In contrast, shared data enable validation of research results and promote data reuse for future research studies—all key to supporting FASEB’s mission of advancing health and welfare by promoting progress in the biological and biomedical sciences.

“As more robust and diverse datasets continue to explode across the life sciences community, it becomes even more important for research teams to have access to these valuable resources and leverage them for additional research opportunities. FASEB DataWorks!, through its array of unique offerings, will support a critical need in the biological and biomedical research fields related to data sharing and reuse, thereby creating new types of collaborations and accelerating and enabling discoveries,” said Kevin C. Kregel, PhD, Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Iowa and FASEB President-elect.

For more information on FASEB DataWorks! or to partner with FASEB on components of the program, contact FASEB.