While scientific work and output was traditionally limited to relatively small expert communities, the landscape is rapidly changing. Modern Science is far too complex to be carried out in isolation, and the need to increase the uptake of scientific output in society now seems far more pressing. As a result, scientific communities are pushing to make Science more Open.
The Neuroscience research community has also made this commitment. The philosophy of Free/Open Science, however, must be backed by Free/Open standards and tools. The Open Source Brain project is one of many initiatives that focus on developing Free/Open tools and standards for Neuroscience. A recent publication summarises their work.
While initially targeting computational Neuroscience, following the renewal of their funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Open Source Brain project are expanding their deliverables to support experimental data as well. With this in mind, they organised a workshop in September to discuss two key themes:
- Accessible sharing of cellular Neuroscience data: by supporting the Neurodata Without Borders (NWB) format.
- Modelling the cortex across scales: by further expanding the NeuroML model description language.
Since I was fortunate enough to attend this workshop, in this talk, I will summarise the main points that were discussed here. Time permitting, I will hope to begin a discussion in our group on how we can ensure that we follow and contribute to these standards and tools to make our research work and its outputs "default to Free/Open".
I will conclude with a (another?) short marketing pitch for our NeuroFedora project which shares these goals.
- Open Science: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_science
- Free/Open Source Software: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/user-liberation-watch-and-share-our-new-video/
- Open letter committing to the use of Open Source for Neuroscience: http://opensourceforneuroscience.org/
- Open Source Brain: http://www.opensourcebrain.org
- Neurodata Without Borders (NWB): https://nwb.org
- NeuroML: https://www.neuroml.org
- NeuroFedora: https://neuro.fedoraproject.org