Promoting FAIR Data Through Community-driven Agile Design: the Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury (

the STREET-FAIR Workshop Participants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The past decade has seen accelerating movement from data protectionism in publishing toward open data sharing to improve reproducibility and translation of biomedical research. Developing data sharing infrastructures to meet these new demands remains a challenge. One model for data sharing involves simply attaching data, irrespective of its type, to publisher websites or general use repositories. However, some argue this creates a ‘data dump’ that does not promote the goals of making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR). Specialized data sharing communities offer an alternative model where data are curated by domain experts to make it both open and FAIR. We report on our experiences developing one such data-sharing ecosystem focusing on ‘long-tail’ preclinical data, the Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury ( ODC-SCI was developed with community-based agile design requirements directly pulled from a series of workshops with multiple stakeholders (researchers, consumers, non-profit funders, governmental agencies, journals, and industry members). ODC-SCI focuses on heterogeneous tabular data collected by preclinical researchers including bio-behaviour, histopathology findings and molecular endpoints. This has led to an example of a specialized neurocommons that is well-embraced by the community it aims to serve. In the present paper, we provide a review of the community-based design template and describe the adoption by the community including a high-level review of current data assets, publicly released datasets, and web analytics. Although is in its late beta stage of development, it represents a successful example of a specialized data commons that may serve as a model for other fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • community repository
  • data reuse
  • Data sharing
  • FAIR
  • neurotrauma
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Information Systems


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