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Neuroimage. 2013 Nov 15;82:677-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.11.010. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Why share data? Lessons learned from the fMRIDC.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging (LONI), Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, 635 Charles E. Young Drive SW, Suite 225 Los Angeles, CA 90095-7334, USA.


Neuroimaging and the discipline of cognitive neuroscience have grown together in lock-step with each pushing the other toward an improved ability to explore and examine brain function and form. However successful neuroimaging and the examination of cognitive processes may seem today, the culture of data sharing in these fields remains underdeveloped. In this article, we discuss our own experience in the development of the fMRI Data Center (fMRIDC) - a large-scale effort to gather, curate, and openly share the complete data sets from published research articles of brain activation studies using fMRI. We outline the fMRIDC effort's beginnings, how it operated, note some of the sociological reactions we received, and provide several examples of prominent new studies performed using data drawn from the archive. Finally, we provide comment on what considerations are needed for successful neuroimaging databasing and data sharing as existing and emerging efforts take the next steps in archiving and disseminating the field's valuable and irreplaceable data.


Data sharing; Databasing; Neuroimaging; Neuroinformatics

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