Author’s corner: Providing incentives and ensuring quality in citizen science

Author's corner: Providing incentives and ensuring quality in citizen science

Citizen science, the collection or analysis of research data by the general public, has existed in one form or another for centuries, with contributions ranging from plant and animal observations to weather phenonmena1. In the field of land cover and land use, however, its application is relatively new2. Previously this was a task left largely to governments, research institutes and global bodies. With the recent availability of high resolution satellite imagery, this has changed, opening up new possibilities for citizen participation3. In our recent article in Nature Research’s Scientific Data4, we have made available a global dataset of crowdsourced land cover and land use reference data, containing the results of our first four citizen-science campaigns.  Read more

Expanding our generalist data repository options

Expanding our generalist data repository options

Since our launch in 2014, we have published descriptions of datasets archived at more than 45 different repositories. This diversity is a key part of the Scientific Data philosophy; we aim to support as wide a range of data repositories as possible, within the constraints of our strong policies on data preservation and openness (learn more). So our authors find the right repository for their data, we maintain and regularly update a list of recommended open data repositories, which is also used more widely by the Nature Research journals and our publisher Springer Nature. Last year we also improved our support for institutional repositories.  Read more

An open approach to Huntington’s disease research

An open approach to Huntington's disease research

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene1. The progressive break down of brain neuronal cells in HD patients leads to deteriorating mental and physical abilities over a 10-20 year period prior to death, the symptoms often described as having Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) simultaneously2. At the start of the huntingtin gene there is a CAG trinucleotide repeat region that encodes a stretch of poly-glutamine residues in the amino-terminus of the encoded protein. This repeat tract is expanded in HD patients. The repeat length of this region correlates with the age of symptom onset3. Affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 of the population4, rare juvenile forms of the disease exist in patients with the longest CAG expansions, although adult-onset HD patients typically have between 40-50 CAG repeats with symptom onset beginning between the ages of 35-50.  Read more

Call for submissions: Functional genomic screening data

Scientific Data is inviting submissions releasing and describing functional genomic high throughput screen datasets. Submissions may be from a range of screening strategies that relied on a variety of different functional genomic libraries, including siRNA, shRNA, CRISPR, as well as cDNA and ORF overexpression libraries. Submitted articles may be considered for inclusion in a special article collection to be launched in September 2016.  Read more

Call for submissions: Zika virus related datasets

Scientific Data is inviting submissions releasing and describing datasets related to Zika virus and the associated outbreak of microcephalic cases in South America. Submissions may be considered for inclusion in a special article collection on this topic.  Read more

Call for submissions: Structural biology applications of coherent X-ray lasers

Scientific Data is inviting submissions releasing and describing datasets generating from the use of coherent X-ray lasers in the study of biological structure. Submitted articles will be considered for inclusion in a special article collection to be launched in the first half of 2016.