After a fruitful and lively series of workshops and community building activities, NFDI Neuroscience has submitted a proposal for the 2020 NFDI call. The consortium envisions a community-oriented structure aimed at simplifying research data management by promoting active engagement of researchers and providers and supporting development efforts across the neuroscience domains.
Access to digital knowledge and management of research data from publicly funded science are seen as essential challenges for research and knowledge transfer in Germany. Over the past years, the Rat für Informationssinfrastrukturen (RfII) has initiated discussions on a national infrastructure for research data (Nationale Forschungsdaten-Infrastruktur, NFDI) and has recommended to establish such an infrastructure. The Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz (GWK) decided to fund the development of an NFDI with up to 90 million € per year for the next ten years ( https://www.gwk-bonn.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Dokumente/Papers/NFDI.pdf).
The NFDI is intended to serve all disciplines of the entire research landscape in Germany. Its purpose is to support scientists in efficiently managing their research data and to ensure that research data becomes interoperable and re-usable, in line with international standards and initiatives (e.g., the FAIR principles, the European Open Science Cloud EOSC). The NFDI aims to build on and connect existing resources according to a comprehensive concept for research data management that is sustainable and competitive in the international context.
The development of the NFDI will be organized along the different scientific fields, through consortia of data producers, data users and infrastructure providers that represent the respective scientific communities. The wide scope and interdisciplinary nature of neuroscientific research, together with the important role of neuroscience in Germany, calls for an NFDI consortium dedicated to neuroscience.
Heterogeneity, complexity and growing volumes of neuroscience data, paired with the demand to re-use valuable experimental data, make it increasingly important to provide infrastructural support for the data management tasks of neuroscientists. This may include very diverse aspects, for example, tools to facilitate the acquisition of experimental data and metadata, standards to improve interoperability of data from multiple sources, services to store and organize the provenance of data acquisition and processing workflows, or enhancing accessibility and interoperability of databases, repositories, and other resources. Some solutions have started to emerge but need to be integrated and further developed to achieve a coherent and efficient data management framework for neuroscientists. This process will have to consider all subdomains of neuroscience and all methodological approaches with their requirements on research data, addressing the specific needs of the researchers.
The NFDI Neuroscience consortium works to build a community to develop the conceptual and practical basis of a research data management infrastructure for the neurosciences. The consortium is supported by the Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (NWG) and the Bernstein Network for Computational Neuroscience.
In order to reach out to the community the NFDI Neuroscience consortium offers and actively participates in various activities.
The NFDI Neuroscience consortium is building a research data management infrastructure network for the neurosciences. This requires integrating neuroscientists, research institutions and service providers at the national level, across disciplines within the NFDI network, and to international networks and infrastructures.
A central concern is to educate the next generation of researchers early on, in order to raise awareness for the importance of RDM and equip them with the respective skills. NFDI Neuroscience is committed to supporting the incorporation of RDM education in local study programs. It also offers additional courses for RTGs or IRTGs upon request.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the course has been postponed to spring 2021 -
This course, co-organized by members of NFDI Neuroscience, is addressed to excellent master and PhD students and young researchers who are interested in learning advanced techniques in data analytics and in getting hands-on experience in the analysis of electrophysiological data. For more information click here.
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Neuroscientists require practical solutions in the form of robust methods, tools, and services, that enable collecting and efficiently managing data and metadata during the everyday data workflows in the laboratory. Therefore the goal is to build a community-centered process where scientists benefit from and contribute to improving the research data management infrastructure. NFDI Neuroscience aims to help researchers addressing their needs with existing solutions and to trigger and coordinate the development of new solutions where necessary. Community involvement on different levels will be essential for this process - from the contributions of individual researchers to the representation of large collaborative research projects and institutions.