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BCRF Partners with Springer Nature to Improve Data Sharing

By BCRF | February 13, 2019

A new pilot program will encourage and facilitate data sharing among researchers.

A key tenet of BCRF’s mission is to connect investigators around the world while giving them the freedom to pursue their most innovative ideas. Today, we’re proud to announce a new pilot program, in partnership with Springer Nature, to encourage and facilitate data sharing among researchers.

Submitting research results in scientific journals and presenting at major conferences allows the investigators from all over the world to review and comment on the work of others. It is a major form of communication within the research community.  What is missing from the results presented in publication and meetings, however, are the raw data– individual measures collected throughout the study and used to prepare the final reports. Sharing these data points with other scientists not only validates published research, but also allows scientists to ask new questions from the same data.

The new pilot project will help authors share their data in such a way that research can be made accessible, reusable and reapplied to fuel new innovation that can put an end to breast cancer. Dedicated editors from Springer Nature’s Research Data Support will help investigators that publish in npj Breast Cancer to catalogue, describe and share data that accompanies the research paper.

Sharing raw data allows scientists to access information that would otherwise be unavailable to them—inspiring new questions and spurring new findings. The Human Genome Atlas is an example of how data sharing can create new breakthroughs. The raw data from this years-long effort involving more than 11,000 patients and 33 types of cancer was made publicly accessible and has been crucial to a vast array of scientific breakthroughs, like discovering subtype-specific mutational burden of CDK4 (a target of a, now, FDA-approved drug).

Today, the amount of freely accessible data from published studies is limited, partly due to the resources and expertise that are required from the investigators to enable data sharing. In a unique partnership that started four years ago with the creation of the first online scientific journal dedicated to breast cancer research, BCRF and Springer Nature now take aim at breaking barriers that limit data sharing.

Through the support of BCRF, npj Breast Cancer is now setting the standard for the broader cancer research community and both partners are excited to learn more from this pilot.

Larry Norton, BCRF’s Co-Scientific Director and npj Breast Cancer’s Editor-in-Chief, said: “The provision of this service for all of our authors is in part a response to the calls for broader data sharing that have been gathering pace in the cancer research community.“