Memorias de investigación
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Open Results from Biomedical Research Projects: Where Are They?

Research Areas
  • Information technology and adata processing

Wald has addressed scientific openness in a recent Science article, including data and methods used for research. Advances in software tools for bioinformatics search helps, but, just becoming aware of open results of research projects funded by public agencies* -- e.g., databases, software, papers, e-books* -- and finding them efficiently still proves harder than it should. In the course of producing an advanced, automatically generated on-line inventory of bioinformatics resources, we analyzed results from research projects publicly funded by the European Commission, Spanish agencies, and the National Institutes of Health. We discovered that finding the complete set of available information reported to have been generated by the projects could prove quite elusive. Non-peer-reviewed summary reports were commonplace, but specifics of electronic resources, with Web locations, were frequently not, even when researchers mentioned their existence as being openly available. To enable searches with sophisticated text mining, publicly-funded projects should provide a minimum information set including titles, authors, funding agency, annotations with concepts from ontologies or controlled vocabularies that characterize the functionalities of the resources, papers reporting significant findings using these resources *peer-reviewed quality indicators,* and their Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). Earlier suggestions for structuring abstracts of papers resulted in an experiment with disappointingly limited success. However, to provide basic information resources from projects already on the Web ought to be more straightforward. Requiring a minimum information set like the one we propose to be available online under clearly specified standards might help bring about more comprehensive open access, which would promote wider reuse of resources and avoid duplication in scientific projects, worldwide. Agencies are increasingly requiring that papers reporting research funded by them become publicly available. Our proposal is that they require that other products of research, like open electronic resources that back-up a paper's results, should be made equally easily accessible.
Science Careers Blog
Publication type

Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Informática Biomédica (LIA)
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de tecnología Biomédica CTB