Washington Update

DataWorks! Salon Highlights Ways Funders Support Data Sharing

By: Yvette Seger
Thursday, February 24, 2022
FASEB DataWorks! Salons provide conversation spaces for the research community to exchange ideas and design effective practices for data sharing and reuse. The most recent salon on February 10 showcased strategies adopted by three research organizations—Health Research Alliance (HRA), Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP), and Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF)—to facilitate open science practices.

Maryrose Franko, PhD, Executive Director of HRA, provided examples of how the alliance supports and informs its more than 90 nonprofit research funding organizations in communicating the importance of data sharing resources and policies to the researchers they support. Of specific interest is ensuring that data resulting from research is openly accessible and findable through digital object identifiers (DOIs), allowing investigators to track data reuse and impact. 

Salvatore La Rosa, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at CTA, presented a high-level overview of the Neurofibromatosis (NF) Open Science Initiative, the goal of which is to foster open science practices within the research community focused on understanding the mechanisms of NF and schwannomatosis. Participating researchers adopt a standard protocol for data curation and share data through the NF Data Portal, allowing data and other research tools to be shared and reused by investigators.

Sonya Dumanis, PhD, Deputy Director of ASAP, discussed how ASAP supports data sharing among its funded investigators, the most significant being financial support for a project manager position within each research team to assist with data curation and open access policies. ASAP also supports collaboration tools and facilitates working groups among grantees to foster development of researcher-defined standards for data reporting and recommended repositories.

In the discussion portion of the salon, Franko, La Rosa, and Dumanis agreed on a few keys for success: establishment of early agreements and expectations for data sharing, continued support (financial, tools, and professional network), and clear communication of the value of datasets as research outputs.

The next FASEB DataWorks! Salon is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 2–3 pm ET, and will spotlight researchers who have successfully reused existing datasets to further their research. Registration is free and open to all who are interested in learning more about this exciting topic.