“Although formally published research papers remain the most important means of communicating science today, they do not provide a sufficient amount of information to fully evaluate scientific work. There is typically no mechanism to easily link to experimental design the research data or analytical tools that were used, preventing researchers from being able to fully understand the results of the research, replicate the results, or decisively evaluate and reuse existing research.
Led by project director Helena Cousijn, DataCite and its partners aim to address this problem by developing an exemplar workflow and ecosystem that will assist teams in adhering to FAIR principles for making all research outputs available. By providing a workflow that is easy to implement, the team ultimately aims to start a culture change, where it becomes a standard part of the research culture to make outputs FAIR upon inception.
The workflow will be developed in collaboration with, and applied to, a research study in the field of consciousness. This field is a fitting proving ground for such a project, as a lack of infrastructure for meaningfully aggregating data in consciousness research has contributed to a lack of agreement about what anatomical structures and physiological processes in the human brain give rise to consciousness despite almost three decades of focused research. Developing FAIR workflows will address that need, unleashing the possibility to better understand the neural foundations of consciousness.
Through this project, DataCite and its partners will develop a proof-of-concept product in the field of consciousness that will accelerate open science. The team’s end goal is to provide researchers in all disciplines with a method for engaging in FAIR research practices that is easy to implement and follow.”