Category: Meetings || File ID: 68 || Last changed on: 2009-05-29 11:05:59+01

Data Sharing in Mouse Functional Genomics

Rome, 20-22 May 2009

Meeting scope

The meeting will focus on issues directly relevant to mammalian functional genomics and will thus include consideration of various data types, ranging from those generated by high throughput technique data – “omics” technologies, to sequence, gene expression and phenotype data, which itself will range from measurements of metabolites to behaviour patterns. It will also look at sharing of bioresources such as mice, ES cells, antibodies and DNA, together with availability of technologies and know-how.

It will bring together experimental scientists and investigators with experience of data storage and management; funders of research; intellectual property and technology transfer experts; and representatives of the major journals and policy makers.

The main thrust of the meeting will be:
  • To explore the factors which prevent investigators submitting data to public databases and to make bioresources such as mice and ES cells freely available; to evaluate the imperatives for data sharing and to suggest incentives or means of compulsion for compliance on the part of recipients of public funding.
  • To consider the impact of IP protection on the ready availability of resources and scientific progress
  • To discuss the pubic availability of data underpinning publications; particularly data from high throughput technologies.
  • To set the framework for discussions in the wider community taking mouse functional genomics as a microcosm. Nearly all the issues which apply to the wider life sciences apply to the mouse.
  • To consider and make recommendations on the infrastructure required to manage data, facilitate data sharing and secure its funding.

Session 1 Towards a European Policy on Resource Sharing – Community Requirements

This session addresses what the key stakeholders want from access to data and bioresources and will consider what are perceived as the most important opportunities to exploit, and roadblocks to avoid, if we are to develop a useful policy. Questions to answer include: What guides the principles of a sharing policy; what should be shared; what should our priorities be?

What is inhibiting the key stakeholders – academic researchers, industry, the public - from benefiting optimally from the exploitation of technology, bioresources and data sets? Is there a need for a set of community standards for facilitating access, validation, collaboration and exploitation? And if so, what should a policy look like from an end-user perspective? What is the balance between exploitation and scientific freedom and co-operation? Are there new technologies or research themes that will affect a sharing policy and how can the community respond to these changes?

Session 2 BioResources - Examples and Experiences from Major International Resource Centres

This session addresses the main bioresources for the Mouse community. What wider community/ies do they serve? What hinders them from fully achieving their aims? What problems are there, actual or perceived, with investigators submitting resources for open dissemination? Do Institutional IP policies inhibit scientific advancement? Is there sufficient compulsion/encouragement for investigators to make their resources available through them? Long term funding of the infrastructure? Is there a sustainable cost recovery model?

Session 3 Data Resources

This session addresses the sharing of different kinds of data and the impact on both the scientific community and on the economy. It will address models for data release and data management, experience of problems in obtaining data pre- and post-publication, and factors inhibiting investigators from putting primary data on public databases. What are the bottlenecks and challenges going forward as more and more databases emerge? Is primary data available to support publication? How are ongoing production databases funded and are there long-term plans in place for financial sustainability? What is the potential cost of NOT sharing data?

Session 4 Policy Forum

Presentations from three major funding agencies. What is the thinking behind their sharing policies, how are they implemented, do they work? Is there a need for internationally agreed principles to align policies? Is there asymmetry of benefit when agencies have unaligned policies? What are the next steps?


The discussion will be used as the basis for a summary document to go to the European Commission, but we hope that there will be a published account of the meeting in the literature to stimulate debate and share the results of our discussions.

Programme and presentations
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