Open Source for Open Science: Using LabKey Server to Accelerate Data Sharing

open-scienceFrom those studying the rapid spread of the Zika virus to Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign for the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, open science has become the battle cry of research in recent months. A departure from traditional methods of publication and collaboration, open science calls for rapid release of data for review and iteration by fellow researchers with the goal of accelerating understanding of disease and the development of cures.

The notion of open research and expedited discovery is an easy one to support, but much more complicated to execute. How can you share data publicly without compromising the security of your research? How can you centralize data so that you can provide helpful context and data in one place? How can you securely collaborate on in-progress research with team members and share results publicly without switching platforms?

While architecting and implementing a data management and collaboration system for advanced data sharing is a complex undertaking, LabKey Server also provides a number of easy-to-use tools to help centralize and share basic research data.


Wikis are a simple way to collaboratively generate and share information. Wikis are web documents that can house text, files, images, tables, etc. Collections of wiki pages in LabKey Server can be organized into a Table of Contents for easy navigation by viewers.

File Repositories

File repositories are a great way to store and share files. Structured data, like Excel files, and unstructured data, like Word files, can be imported into a LabKey Server file repository and centrally stored. You can then provide specific individuals or groups with access or make files available publicly. Files stored in a LabKey Server file repository are also indexed and searchable for easy discovery of files containing specific content.

Message Boards

Message boards allow you to share announcements or ongoing commentary about your research and cultivate threaded discussions with collaborators. Collaborators can subscribe to message boards to stay up to date with your research.

All collaboration tools benefit from LabKey Server’s fine grained permission controls, allowing you to share data with specific individuals, working groups, or the public.

See it in Action

The O’Connor Lab at the University of Wisconsin—Madison uses LabKey Server collaboration tools to share real-time updates on active Zika studies. Check it out >

Get Started

Download the free LabKey Server Community Edition and start sharing. Download >