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Supporting open sharing of FAIR Norwegian neuroscience data via the EBRAINS research infrastructure

Alternative title: Støtte til åpen og FAIR deling av norske nevrovitenskapelige data via forskningsinfrastrukturen EBRAINS

Awarded: NOK 0.80 mill.

The brain is the most complex structure we know, and intensive research efforts are invested to map brain structure and function, aiming to generate new knowledge that will allow us to better understand how the brain function. This knowledge and understanding may allow us to simulate brain functions and find treatments to diseases afflicting the brain. Most research results are communicated in research articles, while the underlying data often are difficult to compare across studies and mostly inaccessible to other researchers. The Human Brain Project is a large EU funded project that recently released the research infrastructure EBRAINS, which will help researchers to collect, organize, analyze, integrate, and share their research data. Data sharing via EBRAINS makes it possible to reuse data to verify findings, address new hypotheses, and to combine them with other data to generate new knowledge. The present project will aid Norwegian neuroscientists to utilize EBRAINS for open sharing of their data. A team of researchers, with broad experience with organizing and curating data for EBRAINS sharing, will visit Norwegian research environments to inform about possibilities and provide targeted training and practical assistance for getting started with data sharing and using different analytic resources offered via EBRAINS.

Despite substantial research efforts, our understanding of the brain and its diseases is still limited. Acquiring data about the brain is a time consuming and complex process, and open sharing of data is now recognized as vital to preserve valuable data and to increase transparency in the research process. To facilitate this, the Human Brain Project (a FET Flagship project) has developed the EBRAINS infrastructure, enabling scientists to collect, analyze, share, and integrate brain data, and to perform modelling and simulation of brain function. However, the implementation of neuroinformatics tools in general and data sharing in particular is still limited among the Norwegian neuroscience community. The few laboratories that have shared their data via the EBRAINS infrastructure have depended on dedicated funding for curation scientists to aid in data organization. We here apply for supplementary funding to increase and strengthen the dissemination of data management practices and sharing of neuroscience data to Norwegian laboratories, which will increase the impact of the research infrastructure. The project will build on established expertise from the EBRAINS curation team at the University of Oslo, expand on the outreach and community engaging efforts of the High-Level Support Team of the Human Brain Project, and utilize synergies with established researcher education institutions.

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