The Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) project’s charge is to collaborate with Common Fund programs to improve the value of Common Fund data sets by enabling re-use of datasets by typical biomedical researchers. In 2019, we are profiling the content and status of nine Common Fund Programs that were identified as priorities for engagement by Common Fund leadership. This is the second of a three-report series. Much of the initial report emerged from site visits to the Data Coordinating Centers (DCC)/Data Resource Centers (DRC) of four Common Fund Programs- HMP, LINCS, Kids First, and GTEx - and in that report we provided an initial set of recommendations for 2020 activities.
In this update, we report on site visits to two additional programs (HuBMAP HIVE and the Blackfynn DRC for SPARC). In the main text, we have provided summaries of both programs and highlight new opportunities and challenges that have emerged from our visits. We have worked to synthesize the insights gained across site visits into actionable challenges and describe our plans to begin addressing them. These seven approaches are not full-fledged solutions, but rather first steps in operationalizing the CFDE and moving toward a data ecosystem. In Approach 1: Data Federation, we describe how simple tools such as asset inventories and manifests can improve data FAIRness as well as help the Common Fund to participate in any future trans-NIH interoperability initiatives. These future considerations are more fully addressed in Approach 5: Federating with Data Resources External to the Common Fund.
Approach Two: the CFDE portal, will allow anyone, for the first time, to see a full inventory of Common Fund datasets, and the full spectrum of possibilities for data re-use. Training, and Addressing Data Incompatibility, our third and fourth approaches, will help to ensure that end users are able to make use of the current Common Fund assets, and that they are ready to dive into whatever possibilities the future holds once the portal makes it feasible for users to actually find and reuse data.
Approaches Six and Seven focus on interactions between CF Programs, the CFDE, and the Common Fund leadership with the goal of improving the flow of information and building community. Approach Six seeks to answer specific questions of how Programs decide on cloud or local infrastructure, and how these choices might impact sustainability. Approach Seven describes how the tenor of site visits have shifted over time, and how we expect they might continue to evolve.
In our third and final report for 2019, we expect to include site visit reports for the remaining three Common Fund programs in the CFDE pilot scope - MoTrPAC, 4D Nucleome, and Metabolomics, as well as updated perspectives on our 2020 plans.