Skip to main content

INCF Neuroinformatics Assembly 2023

23 October 2023

Last month, from September 18-22, INCF virtually hosted another iteration of our Neuroinformatics Assembly 2023. Neuroinformatics Assembly is the annual gathering of the INCF network and serves as its major outreach outlet for the network. 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. 

This year's Assembly was themed around "Transparency in FAIR Neuroinformatics". The material in this collection therefore catered to two main groups: 

  • Neuroscience and/or neuroinformatics researchers interested in learning how to implement FAIR data management and sharing practices in their research, tools, and infrastructures. 

  • Standards developers, infrastructure providers, and software developers interested in learning about the latest advancements in the state of the art, increasing community adoption of their infrastructures and software, improving their craft, and those dedicated to working collaboratively with the community to develop solutions that support open, FAIR neuroscience. 

With a combined total of over 50 lectures, lightning talks, panel discussions, and hands-on tutorials, this year’s Neuroinformatics Assembly thoroughly outlined the current challenges and opportunities facing the neuroscience community as we strive to make neuroscience data more findable, interoperable, accessible, and reusable. 

Neuroinformatics Assembly 2023 began with a lecture by Dr. Maryann Martone (UCSD; Chair, Governing Board, INCF), which broadly described the current neuroinformatic landscape as well as how INCF and its work fits into this context. General topics presented during the conference included FAIR roadmaps for knowledge graphs and ontologies, FAIR sharing, integration, and analysis of neuroscience data, research workflows for collaborative neuroscience, and infrastructure for sensitive data, among several others. 

While it is of course necessary and helpful to be aware of the bigger picture and where the field as a whole is moving, most researchers and scientists deal with very particular and domain-specific hurdles to making neuroscience experiments and data FAIR on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, the majority of the other talks, tutorials, and discussions given during Assembly focused on siloed, issue-specific approaches and solutions which have been developed by and for the neuroinformatics community. For example, during Session 6 of Assembly, entitled Research Workflows for Collaborative Neuroscience, we heard talks on cloud neurodata pipelines with the computational reproducibility platform Code Ocean, as well as live demonstrations for other open-source tools like DataJoint and Flyte. Other sessions dealt with domain-specific issues within neuroscience, such as Session 7: Practical Guide to Overcome the Reproducibility Crisis in Small Animal Neuroimaging: Workflows, Tools, and Repositories and Session 9: Event Annotation in Neuroimaging Using HED: From Experiment to Analysis. 

We would like to take this opportunity to again thank all of our speakers for their enlightening and inspiring talks, as well as to all those who were in attendance! It is INCF’s mission to rally together the neuroinformatics community and motivate researchers and neuroscientists to align their experimental, analytical, and dissemination practices to FAIR science principles, and are therefore proud to be able to organize and host conferences such as this one. 

If you missed Neuroinformatics Assembly this year, you can find all lecture, talk, and discussion recordings on INCF’s TrainingSpace, here. We hope to see you at INCF Neuroinformatics Assembly 2024!