But our mission was to spark breakthroughs, and we didn’t want to exclude underfunded neuroscientists who just might be the ones to make the next leap. And so we made all of our data free, with no registration required.
Our facility is neither the first nor the last to use a shared database to embrace ‘open science’ and reject the competitive, single-lab paradigm. Traditional research incentives — where journal publications are the coin of the realm — tend to discourage vital sharing. What I’ve concluded is that foundations and other private funders who support scientific research also can help promote wider sharing of scientific data. Before funders write a check to a university, they should ask about the researcher’s policies and track record on sharing.