Skip to main content

It’s open science week!

14 September 2021

Of course, over here at INCF, every week is open science week -- open neuroscience, to be more specific -- and we believe that all branches of science should be open. Recent history has made it clear that science happens faster when it’s open, and we need science to happen faster than it currently does. Humanity is facing several severe challenges with the changing climate and microorganisms run amok, just to name a few very urgent ones. 

While the urgency for scientific discovery is clear, we should also strive for faster and more cost effective research towards challenges that may be perceived as less urgent. Neurological diseases are the leading source of disability and the second leading cause of death globally. Enormous amounts of time and money are spent on producing data to try to solve the mysteries of the brain and its diseases. And yet, these diseases still remain the second highest cause of death in the world. 

The amount of neuroscience data produced every year has been estimated to be on the petabyte scale. That’s 1 000 000 000 000 000 bytes. A quadrillion bytes. Each dataset produced is used for a handful of studies, turning into a handful of publications. Some of those publications are open access, some are not. The end result? Science moved forward, but not as much as it could. Now, imagine if we could tame this wild west of neuroscience by applying existing neuroinformatics resources and make the data available to other researchers. What if all that data was Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable? What if it was all FAIR data?! What if the same data could be used to make other findings (or confirm the original findings!), and publish more papers?! Now science has moved forward both faster and cheaper!

The neuroinformatics resources mentioned above are open and FAIR standards and best practices, which enable researchers to understand how the data was collected and makes it possible to use the data with their preferred analytics tools. The INCF facilitates open neuroscience by making available such neuroinformatics resources to the neuroscience community: by developing and vetting FAIR standards and best practices, and by providing training in how to implement these standards and best practices on your own research. 

The INCF network is a grassroots organization where our members have committed to furthering the work toward open neuroscience by working to develop standards and training materials, evaluating computer infrastructures, and many other aspects of making neuroscience FAIR. INCF is for neuroscientists who seek training in how to manage, analyze, and share their data, for neuroinformaticians wanting to develop their skills, for infrastructure and tool developers to develop their trade, and for funders needing tools to implement and encourage open and FAIR practices.

The INCF network consists of universities, labs, projects, networks, non-profit organizations, neuroscience & neurotech companies, and individuals. If you’re as committed to open neuroscience as us and want to have a say in how we shape global strategy for making neuroscience FAIR, you should join INCF today: 

You will be in excellent company: