Science: Biology’s Dry Future

“Biology’s Dry Future,” published in Science (11 October 2013, DOI:10.1126/science.342.6155.186), discusses the increasing role of publicly available data in making biological discoveries. The article highlights medical, agricultural, and computational scientists who have built their research on publicly available data. It also highlights big data initiatives in the biological sciences, such as the NSF-funded iPlant Collaborative and the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative. The article acknowledges the challenges of “dry lab biology,” including a lack of common standards, differences in experimental design, and privacy concerns. While “dry lab biology” will not replace traditional “wet lab biology,” the two approaches can complement each other to advance biological discoveries.

NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy

Last month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a draft Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy for public comments. The policy promotes broad and responsible sharing of genomic data from NIH-supported and NIH-conducted research. The draft GDS Policy is aligned with White House Administration priorities and the recent directive to agencies to increase access to digital scientific data resulting from federally funded research.

The policy applies to human and non-human genomic data generated from array-based and high-throughput genomic technologies, regardless of funding level or funding mechanism. The policy addresses the responsibilities of investigators and institutions (e.g., data sharing plans, timelines, informed consent), the use of controlled-access data, and expectations regarding intellectual property. Appendix A provides additional guidance on the types of research projects to which the GDS Policy applies and the NIH’s expectations for data submission and release.

Comments on the draft GDS Policy must be submitted no later than 60 days after publication of the notice, which was on September 20, 2013.

OpenHelix on mobile devices

The Library subscribes to OpenHelix, which provides access to over 100 tutorials on web-based bioinformatics and genomics resources, such as BLAST, dbSNP, Ensembl, Galaxy, PubMed, TAIR, and UCSC Genome Browser. These tutorials can now run on browsers of mobile devices running iOS, Android and Windows mobile operating systems, as well as on browsers on desktop machines.

To access OpenHelix, search for it in the Library’s Online Journals and Databases resource.

Victoria Stodden to speak on 10/24

The University Library invites the campus community to join a conversation with Victoria Stodden (Columbia University) on Opportunities and Challenges for Open Data and Code: Facilitating Reproducibility.

October 24, 2013 Refreshments at 9:30 Talk and Conversation from 10-11:30 Alice Campbell Hall Ballroom

Known for her research and policy work on open data and reproducible science, Victoria Stodden is an assistant professor of Statistics at Columbia University and with the Columbia University Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. After pursuing degrees at Stanford in Statistics and Law, her research has focused on the problem of enabling reproducibility in computational science. Victoria has developed the acclaimed Reproducible Research Standard, a suite of open licensing recommendations for the dissemination of computational result and is the co-founder of RunMyCode, an open platform for disseminating the code and data associated with published results, and enabling independent and public cloud-based verification of methods and findings. She serves on the National Academies of Science Committee on Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process and on the National Science Foundations Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI).

For more information, see

Learn more about Open Access Week events!

Sponsored by the Scholarly Commons of the University Library and made possible through a generous gift from the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.