[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Significant resources around the world have been invested in neuroimaging studies of brain function and disease. Easier access to this large body of work should have profound impact on research in cognitive neuroscience and psychiatry, leading to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disease. A trend toward increased sharing of neuroimaging data has emerged in recent years. Nevertheless, a number of barriers continue to impede momentum. Many researchers and institutions remain uncertain about how to share data or lack the tools and expertise to participate in data sharing. The use of electronic data capture (EDC) methods for neuroimaging greatly simplifies the task of data collection and has the potential to help standardize many aspects of data sharing. We review here the motivations for sharing neuroimaging data, the current data sharing landscape, and the sociological or technical barriers that still need to be addressed. The INCF Task Force on Neuroimaging Datasharing, in conjunction with several collaborative groups around the world, has started work on several tools to ease and eventually automate the practice of data sharing. It is hoped that such tools will allow researchers to easily share raw, processed, and derived neuroimaging data, with appropriate metadata and provenance records, and will improve the reproducibility of neuroimaging studies. By providing seamless integration of data sharing and analysis tools within a commodity research environment, the Task Force seeks to identify and minimize barriers to data sharing in the field of neuroimaging.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is growing recognition of the importance of data sharing in the neurosciences, and in particular in the field of neuroimaging research, in order to best make use of the volumes of human subject data that have been acquired to date. However, a number of barriers, both practical and cultural, continue to impede the widespread practice of data sharing; these include: lack of standard infrastructure and tools for data sharing, uncertainty about how to organize and prepare the data for sharing, and researchers' fears about unattributed data use or missed opportunities for publication. A further challenge is how the scientific community should best describe and/or reference shared data that is used in secondary analyses. Finally, issues of human research subject protections and the ethical use of such data are an ongoing source of concern for neuroimaging researchers.One crucial issue is how producers of shared data can and should be acknowledged and how this important component of science will benefit individuals in their academic careers. While we encourage the field to make use of these opportunities for data publishing, it is critical that standards for metadata, provenance, and other descriptors are used. This commentary outlines the efforts of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility Task Force on Neuroimaging Datasharing to coordinate and establish such standards, as well as potential ways forward to relieve the issues that researchers who produce these massive, reusable community resources face when making the data rapidly and freely available to the public. Both the technical and human aspects of data sharing must be addressed if we are to go forward.