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INCF Endorses the SPARC Data Structure

8 March 2024

On December 21st, the INCF Standards and Best Practices committee endorsed the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) data structure as a standard. The SPARC data structure is a consistent file structure and naming convention, based on the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) to ensure that the diverse types of data in SPARC is organized in a similar manner. The current version is SDS 2.0 (released June 24, 2022).

Financially backed by the NIH Common Fund, SPARC is a large-scale project which aims to deepen our knowledge of nerve-organ interactions. With an initial focus on bioelectronic medicine, the SPARC consortium created the SPARC data structure (SDS), a file and metadata organizational scheme inspired by the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS). Each SPARC dataset includes structured metadata files, predictable folder structures, explanatory files, and detailed protocols. 

This data structure has proven capable of handling complex datasets from multiple and heterogeneous species, measurement techniques, and spatial scales. One of the primary purposes of SDS is to increase the integrity of scientific research by promoting FAIR and open science practices, particularly by facilitating the generation of well-annotated, organized, standardized, and shared biomedical datasets. 

Read more:
SPARC data structure in the INCF SBP portfolio: 
BioRxiv pre-print: SPARC Data Structure: Rationale and Design of a FAIR Standard for Biomedical Research Data (2021).
More about SPARC: