NIH Partners with Figshare to Create New Research Data Resources

The National Institutes of Health enters into a pilot project with research data repository Figshare, allowing researchers to make use of Figshare's services in a specially curated repository.

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The National Institutes of Health recently announced a pilot project with the data repository service Figshare (a Digital Science company). The project allows NIH-funded researchers to store and publish datasets using Figshare's platform and is aimed at research that may be beyond the scope of currently available, subject specific repositories.

In addition to using Figshare's services, the NIH repository will also be specially curated. As the official announcement states:

To start, the curation will be limited to key priorities such as appropriate licensing, linking to funding information and descriptive metadata to ensure data is as reproducible and reusable as possible for both humans and machines. Researchers will also be able to track the impact of their datasets through citation counts and altmetrics.

NIH-funded researchers can sign up for Figshare services using this link.

A key motivation for the NIH-Figshare collaboration is to support FAIR data principles, in which research data sets should, as much as possible, be findable, accessible, interoperable, and resuable.

FAIR Data defined
Image from the International Science Council

Since the first formal definition in 2016, FAIR data principles have been very well received by the scientific research community as a whole. However, there are still major challenges regarding the widespread adoption and implementation of FAIR across various disciplines. For example, there is still not yet any way to measure FAIR compliance for given datasets. Nonetheless, the NIH-Figshare collaboration should help with raising the awareness and adoption of FAIR within the life science research community.

Robin Padilla

Director of Product Management, Springer Nature

I'm the product director for Springer Nature Experiments, the specialized platform to find, evaluate, and implement lab protocols and methods. I'm a chemist by training, with a Ph.D. from Berkeley and postdoctoral experience at BASF's Catalysis Research Lab at the University of Heidelberg. Transitioning to publishing, I worked in editorial roles at various publishers before joining the product management team in Springer Nature's Data and Analytics Solutions group.
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