|Title||Making open data work for plant scientists|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Leonelli, S, Smirnoff, N, Moore, J, Cook, C, Bastow, R|
|Journal Title||Journal of Experimental Botany|
Despite the clear demand for open data sharing, its implementation within plant science is still limited. This is, at least in part, because open data-sharing raises several unanswered questions and challenges to current research practices. In this commentary, some of the challenges encountered by plant researchers at the bench when generating, interpreting, and attempting to disseminate their data have been highlighted. The difficulties involved in sharing sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data are reviewed. The benefits and drawbacks of three data-sharing venues currently available to plant scientists are identified and assessed: (i) journal publication; (ii) university repositories; and (iii) community and project-specific databases. It is concluded that community and project-specific databases are the most useful to researchers interested in effective data sharing, since these databases are explicitly created to meet the researchers’ needs, support extensive curation, and embody a heightened awareness of what it takes to make data reuseable by others. Such bottom-up and community-driven approaches need to be valued by the research community, supported by publishers, and provided with long-term sustainable support by funding bodies and government. At the same time, these databases need to be linked to generic databases where possible, in order to be discoverable to the majority of researchers and thus promote effective and efficient data sharing. As we look forward to a future that embraces open access to data and publications, it is essential that data policies, data curation, data integration, data infrastructure, and data funding are linked together so as to foster data access and research productivity.