International Data Governance for Neuroscience
15 December 2021
The International Brain Initiative (IBI) has published a new paper on the critical need for robust international data governance (IDG) in neuroscience in Neuron. It was written by members of the IBI’s Data Governance Task Force, who recognized the need for an IDG framework to enable the open sharing of neuroscience data globally to drive discovery.
Neuroscience projects are increasing in scale and crossing international borders, driving unprecedented research and innovation. The field is also prioritizing the open sharing of data generated by individual researchers and large-scale brain research projects, including the brain initiatives affiliated with the IBI. As a result, neuroscience data are crossing legal and national borders and posing new technical, legal, and ethical challenges for researchers, institutions, professional societies, publishers, funders, and policymakers.
In the new paper, “International Data Governance for Neuroscience,” the authors aim to raise awareness of the need for clearer data governance frameworks for the neuroscience. The outline the case for why IDG is needed now and make recommendations about the parameters IDG should cover.
“The challenge for an IDG framework in neuroscience is to harmonize these different cultural and ethical perspectives in a way that will enhance understanding, advance collaborations, and facilitate responsible sharing of data,” they write.
They argue that IDG can facilitate scientific discovery and technology transfer. It is currently an afterthought and a burden for researchers, who must disentangle institutional and jurisdictional rules and regulations that were not designed for the neuroscience of today. The authors suggest instead that by defining and clarifying IDG for neuroscience, the community can maximize the sharing and impact of neuroscience data and minimize the risk of sharing to researchers and their institutions.
DEFINITION OF INTERNATIONAL DATA GOVERNANCE
The principles, procedures, frameworks, and policies that ensure acceptable and responsible processing of data in each stage of the data lifecycle; from collection, storage, processing, curation, sharing and use, to deletion
The paper's specific recommendations are:
1. Make International data governance a priority: IDG should not be an afterthought
2. Develop principles for international data governance.
3. Develop practical tools and guidance for streamlined IDG
4. Increase awareness and education on IDG
"International Data Governance for Neuroscience" is the result of nearly two years of work by the Data Governance Task Force of the IBI's Data Standards and Sharing Working Group. The authors are Damian Eke, Amy Bernard, Jan G. Bjaalie, Ricardo Chavarriaga, Takashi Hanakawa, Anthony J. Hannan, Sean L. Hill, Maryann E. Martone, Agnes McMahon, Oliver Ruebel, Sharon Crook, Edda Thiels, and Franco Pestilli.
Additional publications about the International Brain Initiative and its initiatives can be found here.