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Data sharing made easy: Community resources for FAIR neuroscience

8 December 2023

We debuted our new collection of community resources at SfN 2023, and now we’re sharing it here for easy access This collection includes information on the following resources:

  • The FAIR roadmap for neuroscience
  • INCF Training Suite
  • Neurobot
  • Working Groups
  • Mentorship programs
  • The INCF Neuroinformatics Assembly

To read more about these resources in one place, download the booklet here!

The FAIR roadmap for neuroscience             
The FAIR roadmap project, led by the INCF Council for Training, Science, and Infrastructure (CTSI), is an ambitious project that aims to provide a global plan for how to move neuroscience towards a more open, FAIR, and citable discipline. The roadmap is a living document that is intended to serve as a framework for identifying the current gaps, challenges, and opportunities in the landscape of open, FAIR, and citable neuroscience, as well as a framework for coordinating community action.


INCF Training Suite   
The INCF Training Suite is a collection of open access platforms that aims to facilitate

self-guided study in the sub-specialisms of neuroscience with an emphasis on neuroinformatics. The INCF Training Suite acts as a framework for integrating and making neuroscience related training materials FAIR and more accessible to the global neuroscience community.

The INCF Training Suite currently consists of TrainingSpaceKnowledgeSpace, and Neurostars. These platforms provides users with access to:

  • multimedia educational content from courses, conference lectures, and laboratory exercises from some of the world’s leading neuroscience institutes and societies
  • study tracks to facilitate self-guided study
  • tutorials on tools and open science resources for neuroscience research
  • a Q&A forum
  • a data discoverability portal and encyclopedia that provides users with thousands of publicly available neuroscience datasets and abstracts in PubMed

Neurobot is a web based application for simplifying data sharing and metadata management for research. Most clinical data management tools are designed for efficient data acquisition and data processing; however, they often lack a usable data access interface. Neurobot, a lightweight data sharing application, was developed to provide a user-friendly data access interface that can be used for sharing a wide variety of versioned datasets.

Working Groups  
Our Working Groups (WGs) are composed of users and developers from across the INCF network working collaboratively to develop, refine, and/or implement community standards. WGs represent short-term projects that aim to achieve a concrete deliverable. The WGs also serve as forums for getting agreement and community buy-in on the use of these standards and best practices. All community members are welcome to be WG members, regardless of their location in the world. INCF gives support with group communications, coordination between groups, and assistance with logistics and outreach.

Mentorship programs

Google Summer of Code (GSoC)  
GSoC is a global program focused on bringing new developers into open source software development. Since 2011, the INCF network has served as a mentoring organization that pairs GSoC candidates with developers from its community to work on 3-month programming projects. GSoC contributors are paid a stipend by Google. Between 2016 and 2023, INCF paired 168 contributors with 233 mentors.

MATLAB Community Toolbox Training Projects  
In 2022, the neuroscience team at MathWorks began supporing mentored and paid early-career code contribution projects to a MATLAB community toolbox - an open-access MATLAB code repository - which serves neuroscience users and use cases.

By 2023, all projects have begun using GitHub as a platform and each of the trainees worked towards one or more pull requests containing their code contributions. Many of these pull requests have been incorporated into the main code branches for the MATLAB community toolbox, meaning their training experiences have translated into real-world impacts for a public codebase that is used by a large community of neuroscience researchers.

The INCF Neuroinformatics Assembly  
The INCF Neuroinformatics Assembly is the annual gathering of the INCF network, and serves as its major outreach outlet for the network. The Assembly provides a forum in which the neuroscience community can learn about the latest advancements in neuroinformatics, attend tutorials on the latest tools, methods, and neuroinformatics approaches, and interact with tool developers and infrastructure providers. It also serves as a forum where the neuroinformatics community comes together to acquire new skills, develop new technologies, and participate in the global network. INCF is committed to maintaining an open and inclusive environment where human diversity is welcomed and respected.