Linking and lightening: LabArchives and BioMed Central create a new platform for publishing scientific data

Posted: April 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Data Sharing, Research Data | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Linking and lightening: LabArchives and BioMed Central create a new platform for publishing scientific data

Sharing and reuse of data has become a vital part of modern scientific research. Having access to datasets ensures that the pace of scientific discovery is not unnecessarily hindered by data being kept under lock and key or hidden away in lab drawers.

In this context I read some interesting news: As part of the commitment to reproducible research and transparency, BioMed Central has now partnered with LabArchives to work together for the shared goal of making datasets supporting peer-reviewed publications available and permanently linked to online publications – and available under terms which permit reuse freely, as Open Data.

A growing number of repositories for scientific datasets – which with persistent identification can be cited in and linked from published articles – are available but many fields still lack an obvious repository – as for example this is the case in Economics.

There has been debate about whether institutional or subject-specific repositories (and journals) are the best solution for data archiving and publishing. But what is clear is that, for data one size does not fit all – literally and metaphorically.

When available, data repositories are usually the best place for larger datasets which cannot be included as additional files. But some scientists who are willing to share data may be reluctant to deposit data in a repository with which they are not familiar, or which cannot guarantee permanence, or perhaps has suboptimal or ambiguous licensing terms.

LabArchives enables individual scientists to manage, share and publish data files, providing an accessible platform for sharing and publication which is controlled by authors themselves. LabArchives is web-based, or may also be installed on a local server, enabling a user to access their laboratory documents, protocols, notes and data from any location.

As part of this partnership, all BioMed Central authors are entitled to an enhanced free version of LabArchives. This ‘BioMed Central Edition’ of the software offers additional storage capacity compared to the standard free edition, integrated manuscript submission to BioMed Central journals, along with important open data publishing features.

graphic by  Gerd Altmann  /

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