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Challenges in Preserving Neuroimaging Research Data

Presenter 1
Angus Whyte
University of Edinburgh, Digital Curation Centre

Preserving neuroimaging research data for sharing and re-use involves practical challenges for those concerned in its use and curation. These are exemplified in a case study of a psychiatry research group. The study is one of a series encompassing two aims; firstly to discover more about disciplinary approaches and attitudes to digital curation through “immersion” in selected cases; secondly to apply known good practice, and where possible to identify new lessons from practice in the selected discipline areas. These aims were addressed through ethnographic study of current practices, and action research to assess risks, challenges, and opportunities for change. The challenges are in some ways archetypal of fields that are embracing “e-science;” how to reconfigure practice to improve data sharing and re-use, given the capabilities afforded by “cyberinfrastructure. “ The evolution of those in neuroimaging is tied to the social and technological infrastructure underpinning the domain, and imaging centres such as the psychiatric research group in question. Its preservation challenges may be understood by examining relationships between its history, nature of the data collected, innovations in analysis, practices of sharing data and methods, and the evolution of data repositories in the domain.

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