Standards and best practices make neuroscience a data-centric discipline and are key for integrating diverse data and for developing a robust, effective, and sustainable infrastructure to support open and reproducible neuroscience. This study track provides an introduction to standards and best practices that support the FAIR Principles. Many of the standards within this collection have undergone the INCF Standards and Best Practices Endorsement Process to ensure that they are robust.
Standards and Best Practices
Neuroscience Information Exchange (NIX) Format data model allows storing fully annotated scientific datasets, i.e. the data together with rich metadata and their relations in a consistent, comprehensive format. Its aim is to achieve standardization by providing a common data structure and APIs for a multitude of data types and use cases, focused on but not limited to neuroscience. In contrast to most other approaches, the NIX approach is to achieve this flexibility with a minimum set of data model elements.
Computational models provide a framework for integrating data across spatial scales and for exploring hypotheses about the biological mechanisms underlying neuronal and network dynamics. However, as models increase in complexity, additional barriers emerge to the creation, exchange, and re-use of models. Successful projects have created standards for describing complex models in neuroscience and provide open source tools to address these issues. This lecture provides an overview of these projects and make a case for expanded use of resources in support of reproducibility and validation of models against experimental data.
NWB: An ecosystem for neurophysiology data standardization
Over the last three decades, neuroimaging research has seen large strides in the scale, diversity, and complexity of studies, the open availability of data and methodological resources, the quality of instrumentation and multimodal studies, and the number of researchers and consortia. The awareness of rigor and reproducibility has increased with the advent of funding mandates, and with the work done by national and international brain initiatives. This session will focus on the question of FAIRness in neuroimaging research touching on each of the FAIR elements through brief vignettes of ongoing research and challenges faced by the community to enact these principles. This lecture covers the NIDM data format within BIDS to make your datasets more searchable, and how to optimize your dataset searches.
DAQCORD is a framework for the design, documentation and reporting of data curation methods in order to advance the scientific rigour, reproducibility and analysis of the data. This lecture covers the rationale for developing the framework, the process in which the framework was developed, and ends with a presentation of the framework. While the driving use case for DAQCORD was clinical traumatic brain injury research, the framework is applicable to clinical studies in other domains of clinical neuroscience research.
PyNN is a simulator-independent language for building neuronal network models. The PyNN API aims to support modelling at a high-level of abstraction (populations of neurons, layers, columns and the connections between them) while still allowing access to the details of individual neurons and synapses when required. PyNN provides a library of standard neuron, synapse, and synaptic plasticity models which have been verified to work the same on the different supported simulators. PyNN also provides a set of commonly-used connectivity algorithms (e.g. all-to-all, random, distance-dependent, small-world) but makes it easy to provide your own connectivity in a simulator-independent way. This lecture was part of the 7th SpiNNaker Workshop held 3 - 6 October 2017.
Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) are ID numbers assigned to help researchers cite key resources (antibodies, model organisms and software projects) in the biomedical literature to improve transparency of research methods.
Introduction to the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS): a standard for organizing human neuroimaging datasets. This lecture was part of the 2018 Neurohackademy, a 2-week hands-on summer institute in neuroimaging and data science held at the University of Washington eScience Institute.