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Talk by PD Dr. Thomas Wachtler

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

28 Nov 2011 10:00
28 Nov 2011 11:30

Towards Efficient Data Management and Data Sharing in Neurophysiology

Scientific progress depends increasingly on collaborative efforts that involve exchange of data and re-analysis of previously recorded data. A major obstacle to fully exploit the scientific potential of experimental data is the effort it takes to access both data and metadata for application of specific analysis methods, exchange with collaborators, or further analysis some time after the initial study was completed. To cope with these challenges and to make data analysis, re-analysis, and sharing efficient, data together with metadata should be managed and accessed in a unified and reproducible way, so that the researcher can focus on the scientific questions rather than on problems of data management. At the German Neuroinformatics Node (G-Node,, an infrastructure for data management in cellular and systems neuroscience is being developed to improve key ingredients of neuroscientific research: data access, data storage and exchange, and data analysis. Goal i s to provide data management solutions that account for the heterogeneity of data and experimental paradigms, and at the same time support sufficient standardization to facilitate data sharing and data re-use. To meet these requirements, we combine defined data models for the organization of recorded data with mechanisms to flexibly specify metadata for data annotation. On top of the data infrastructure we develop tools and interfaces for data access through a variety of applications and programming languages. This approach enables researchers to seamlessly integrate data access into the laboratory workflow and efficiently organize and select data in a systematic and largely automatized fashion for data sharing and analysis.