Data Station Life Sciences launched

5 December 2023

The DANS Data Station for the Life Sciences, enabling researchers and data professionals in the Medical, Health, and Green Life Sciences to digitally archive and publish research data, is now live.

This new repository provides a secure digital environment in which individual researchers or groups of researchers have the opportunity to store datasets,  with comprehensive metadata, version control, and tools to auto-complete information. Additionally, it will be possible to link datasets in this data station to data portals, platforms, and specific websites, making datasets even more findable and reusable for both scientific and non-scientific users.

Enhanced findability of data

Cees Hof, manager of the data station, states, “Our Data Station Life Sciences is particularly well-suited for data from the so-called ‘long tail of science,’ not extremely large, often heterogeneous datasets into which a lot of time and effort has been put by researchers and data professionals. Valuable data that you want to have optimally managed. Besides these specific datasets, larger datasets from long-term cohort studies or from monitoring networks can also be shared through the data station. It is now possible to include much additional information about your dataset, relevant to your research area. This makes datasets more findable, both for humans and computers, allowing data users to more easily assess whether a dataset is suitable for reuse or replication research.” DANS’s domain-specific data stations make use of the Dataverse software developed by Harvard University. The software is Open Source and is continuously being developed by a large and diverse community. “This ongoing development provides the data station with new functionalities, relevant for the different disciplines within the life sciences. For instance, the Dataverse community participates in the ‘GREI’ initiative of the American National Institutes of Health (NIH), a project to enhance the exchangeability of biomedical data in various scientific data repositories.” Several University Medical Centers (UMCs) in the Netherlands are also using Dataverse as an internal data repository. Hof continues: “I use the experiences and adaptations of these UMCs, among others, as a guide for the further development of our data station.”

Easy to share, easy to protect

User-friendliness is a priority in the new data station. It is now easy to share your ecological or medical data and, if necessary, protect sensitive (personal) data. “Data can be shared under one of the open Creative Commons licences, but more restrictive licences are also available. You can determine for each data file whether other users have access. This allows datasets containing sensitive information to be made available to a select group. It is also possible to impose an embargo, making datasets available only after a certain period of time has elapsed. The data station also allows you to add new versions to an existing dataset: published datasets can be adapted, and changes are recorded in the version history. It is easy to cite datasets and files: citations can be exported to EndNote, RIS, and BibTex. And logging in is simple with your institutional account via SURFconext or through a Google or GitHub account.”

More Information

The launch of this third domain-specific data station, gets us closer and closer to fully replacing our online archiving system EASY. Explore the collection of the DANS Data Station Life Sciences with datasets from the Medical, Health, and Green Life Sciences, and archive your own data sustainably, and easy to find for reuse. Please contact Cees Hof in case you have questions. There is also a FAQ that you can consult.

Click here for the DANS Data Station Life Sciences.

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Cees Hof Ph.D.

Data Station Manager Life Sciences & Physical and Technical Sciences