The purpose of this commentary is to document need for and anticipated benefits of developing data-sharing standards, incentivizing researchers to share data, and building a data-sharing infrastructure within agricultural research. The authors present the factors contributing to the current system of agricultural research that has fostered ambivalence toward data sharing; briefly review the success of data-sharing examples from other domains that offer promise for advancing agricultural research; and describe the advantages and shortcomings of emerging data-sharing platforms, networks, and repositories intended to facilitate data sharing in agriculture. Although they focus on accessing and using the full wealth of data generated by research, the authors realize impact from this effort also requires research in food production to de-emphasize smaller-scale, individual-effort studies and pursue larger efforts integrating social, economic, and environmental components. Thus, the ultimate goal is to advance the conversation among agricultural science partners to create a system conducive to data sharing and the team science that are needed to address the complex, “grand-challenge” questions in food systems. The authors highlight key strategies, roles, and responsibilities of partners in agriculture’s science and data enterprise, and they discuss the business case for data sharing as well as ingredients essential to data preservation and curation. Chair: Sylvie Brouder, Purdue University.
QTA2019-1, 20 pp., March 2019, Available free online.
Marianne Stowell Bracke
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