INCF is involved in a number of collaborative projects together with organizations such as the CENTER-TBI consortium, the Human Brain Project, the Kavli Foundation, General Electric, Janelia Farm, and Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) aims to better characterize TBI and identify the most effective clinical interventions, link patient profiles with effectiveness of treatments (toward “precision medicine”), and improve outcomes via comparative-effectiveness studies. The project has collected an unprecedented scale of data from 65 participating centers across 20 European countries, with data about 5400 patients being collected in the core study and 22760 in the Registry. INCF's role in the project has been to develop a data/informatics platform, internationalization of the Common Data Elements, implement appropriate standards developed by the INCF network, and facilitation of novel analytical methods.
HBP Medical Informatics Platform
In order to maximise European investments in both CENTER-TBI and Human Brain Project (HBP), and provide an enriched research environment for both communities of system users, INCF aim to align the CENTER-TBI data platform with the HBP Medical Informatics Platform (MIP). Researchers would use the analysis platform provided by MIP in conjunction with the data access platform to analyse subsets of data and even share analysis methods within the platform. In the process, INCF will help in standardising the Common Data Elements and other standards using the CENTER-TBI - MIP integration as a use case. Another European TBI study, Collaborative REsearch on ACute Traumatic brain Injury in intensiVe care medicine in Europe (CREACTIVE), is currently sharing data in the MIP. As part of this work, federated analysis of multiple studies (i.e. combining data from CENTER-TBI and CREATIVE to answer a research question) will be technically explored.
KnowledgeSpace (KS) is a joint development between the Human Brain Project (HBP), the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), and the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) that aims to create a globally-used, data-driven encyclopedia and search engine for the neuroscience community. Descriptions of neuroscience research concepts, publicly available datasets, publications, and much more can be discovered across multiple resources through KnowledgeSpace. All content is curated and accessible from a search interface where users can perform a simple keyword search or a search based on the curated concepts. As an encyclopedia, KS provides users with curated definitions of brain research concepts found in different neuroscience ontologies, Wikipedia, and dictionaries. As a search engine, KS enables users to discover publicly available neuroscience datasets from many large-scale brain initiatives in a universally accessible and useful way. What distinguishes KS from other neuroscience encyclopedias and data catalogs is that KS links the neuroscience research concepts found in the encyclopedia to datasets found in publicly accessible data repositories and related publications indexed in PubMed. All of this information is accessible from a search interface where the community can perform a simple keyword search or a search based on the curated concepts to discover descriptions, datasets, publications, and more. In addition, the KS development team actively promotes the adherence to FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship, thus ensuring that all data providers indexed in KS follow standards and best practices for data storage and publication. As more and more data publishers adhere to the FAIR Guiding Principles, the quality of data discovery through KS will improve.
TrainingSpace (TS) is an online hub that aims to make neuroscience educational materials more accessible to the global neuroscience community developed in collaboration with INCF, HBP, SfN, FENS, IBRO, IEEE Brain, BD2K, OHBM, CONP, and iNeuro Initiative. TrainingSpace currently contains courses covering the subspecialisms of neuroscience and neuroinformatics, as well as computer science, data science, and ethics—all collected from the world’s leading neuroscience institutes and societies.
As a hub, TS provides users with access to:
- Multimedia educational content from courses, conference lectures, and laboratory exercises from some of the world’s leading neuroscience institutes and societies
- Study tracks to facilitate self-guided study
- Tutorials on tools and open science resources for neuroscience research
- A Q&A forum, NeuroStars
- A neuroscience encyclopedia that provides users with access to over 1.000.000 publicly available datasets as well as links to literature references and scientific abstracts, KnowledgeSpace
Topics currently included in TS include: general neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, computational neuroscience, neuroinformatics, computer science, and data science.
International Brain Initiative
The International Brain Initiative is a consortium aiming to coordinate between the large international brain initiatives with the purpose of maximizing reproducibility and minimizing duplication of effort. The current members of the consortium include the U.S. BRAIN Initiative, the E.U. Human Brain Project, the Korea Brain Project, the Japan Brain/MINDS Project, Israel Brain Technologies, and the Australian Brain Alliance. The Consortium is coordinated by the Kavli Foundation, assisted by INCF, IBRO, and the Australian Brain Alliance.
Based on the experience gained from managing the CENTER-TBI data, in an effort to promote high quality data and improve the data sharing for the future, a new initiative called Data Access Quality & Curation for Observational Research Designs (DAQCORD) has been started. DAQCORD is initiated from the International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research (InTBIR) where INCF is an active participant. The goal is to capture key information about data acquisition, quality control measures, and curation in a tool that is linked to the dataset so that potential research collaborators can determine if the data meets their needs and expectations.
DAQCORD tool aims: to provide a framework/toolkit for robust study design (and electronic case report form- eCRF- design in particular) and quality management; to provide a framework by which early study plans can be systematically appraised (for example by funding organisations) in terms of their approach to data quality; and to provide a reporting framework with which to describe the steps taken to ensure data quality.