Modern research technologies have greatly increased the amount of scientific data being generated, but making full use of that data is still a major challenge. Data accessibility is a consideration at all stages of the research process; for bench scientists making data accessible to informaticians, for teams sharing data cross-departmentally, and for researchers making data accessible to the public.
The accessibility of data is essential for a number of reasons:
1. Minimizing Redundancy of Research Efforts
Research redundancy is a major problem within research organizations and across the research community. By making data accessible to their desired audience, researchers can reduce the number of redundant experiments conducted and instead iterate upon existing research to accelerate discovery.
2. Drawing More Reliable Conclusions from More Data
Broader data accessibility allows research teams to pool data and conduct analysis with greater confidence in their results. The more data a researcher has access to, the more statistical power they have to validate research conclusions and preempt questions of data quality.
3. Inspiring Novel Questions from Different Approaches
New research questions are inspired by different research approaches and through the study of new methodology. Attacking scientific investigations from varying perspectives also helps reduce bias in analytics, experimental design, and conclusion drawing.
Expanding Accessibility with LabKey Server
LabKey Server not only helps teams collect and curate their data, but also helps make it accessible to collaborators and downstream researchers.
LabKey Server allows researchers to make their data accessible to a broad or narrow audience through a web-based portal. Web-based access makes it easy to share data as desired and allows interested collaborators to evaluate and alternatively analyze “self-serve” research data. This method of data sharing is both more secure than email (see fine grained permissions below) and much lower overhead than a standard institutional database as users can query, view, and export data without having to interface with a data scientist.
LabKey’s fine-grained permissions model makes secure, selective sharing of to data simple and reliable. With LabKey Server, teams can easily control who sees their data, restricting access to selected individuals or pre-defined groups, or making data accessible the general public. Researchers also have fine-grained control over what datasets are shared: either a single table of data or an entire research project.
LabKey Server captures detailed metadata to help increase discoverability of research data and provide crucial context for other researchers who hope to explore, reanalyze, and/or expand upon it. Research teams can customize metadata captured for each of their data types and add organization specific metadata to support internal needs.
Interested in learning more about how LabKey Server can enhance the accessibility of your research data? Contact the LabKey team for more information or request a demo!
*To learn how configure accessibility features of LabKey Server, read documentation >