Ok.. it is true.. this is not a post on aphids, but it discusses important aspects of science that are … data and sample sharing.
According to the Giovanni Destro Bisol paper in PLoS there is “evidence that the majority of published data regarding human genetic variation are made openly available to the scientific community. However, we also show that further efforts are still needed to make data sharing common-practice in this research area. We argue that human genetic variation research could really become a forerunner for the establishment of widespread data sharing by making editorial policies more stringent, adapting strategies to the features of each specific research field and popularizing the advantages of data sharing in terms of optimized use of resources. On a more general note, we hope that the present study could pave the way for further investigations in other areas of genetic and biological research. In this sense, the simple data analysis protocol presented here could offer a useful reference and a common basis for future empirical studies of data sharing.”
Even if there is now a wide consensus among researchers about the importance of achieving an effective, responsible and robust form of data sharing to advance scientific progress, Destro Bisol and colleagues observed significantly lower sharing rates in Medical Genetics than in Human Evolutionary Genetics and Forensics. Can we say that data sharing is a common procedure in entomology?
In a recent issue of the Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Canada, Michel Cusson suggested a further element of interest for modern science that is networking: ”networking is an essential ingredient of our work, and new technologies (e.g., Skype, video – conference) , though they reduce the need for face-to-face interactions with our peers, will never offer a complete substitute for scientific conferences and workshops, which provide an unmatched opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas”.
A third essential element for modern science is clearly described by Monya Baker in Nature: “High-quality, data-rich samples are essential for future research. But obtaining and storing these samples is not as straightforward as many researchers think”… but it is very important to have shared standard procedures for sample preservation for future molecular analyses and this is particularly true if several data are saved with samples. The more information that is available about a specimen, the more valuable it becomes to other researchers. A good example is the Registry of Biological Repository.
What are you waiting for? Share data, share expertise and share samples!
Milia N, Congiu A, Anagnostou P, Montinaro F, Capocasa M, et al. (2012). Mine, Yours, Ours? Sharing data on human genetic variation. PLoS One, 7 (6): e37552. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037552.
Baker, M. (2012). Biorepositories: Building better biobanks. Nature, 486 (7401), 141-146. doi: 10.1038/486141a