Working Paper Review Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Reuse of Public Datasets in the Life Sciences: Potential Risks and Rewards

Version 1 : Received: 10 February 2020 / Approved: 11 February 2020 / Online: 11 February 2020 (11:48:25 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 15 July 2020 / Approved: 16 July 2020 / Online: 16 July 2020 (12:39:43 CEST)

How to cite: Sielemann, K.; Hafner, A.; Pucker, B. The Reuse of Public Datasets in the Life Sciences: Potential Risks and Rewards. Preprints 2020, 2020020146 Sielemann, K.; Hafner, A.; Pucker, B. The Reuse of Public Datasets in the Life Sciences: Potential Risks and Rewards. Preprints 2020, 2020020146

Abstract

The 'big data revolution' has enabled novel types of analyses in the life sciences, facilitated by public sharing and reuse of datasets. Here, we review the prodigious potential of reusing publicly available datasets and the challenges, limitations and risks associated with it. Possible solutions to issues and research integrity considerations are also discussed. Due to the prominence, abundance and wide distribution of sequencing data, we focus on the reuse of publicly available sequence datasets. We define ‘successful reuse’ as the use of previously published data to enable novel scientific findings and use selected examples of such reuse from different disciplines to illustrate the enormous potential of the practice, while acknowledging their respective limitations and risks. A checklist to determine the reuse value and potential of a particular dataset is also provided. The open discussion of data reuse and the establishment of the practice as a norm has the potential to benefit all stakeholders in the life sciences.

Subject Areas

data science; reuse; sequencing data; genomics; bioinformatics; databases; computational biology; open science

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 16 July 2020
Commenter: Katharina Frey
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: We substantially revised and reorganized our manuscript to make it more accessible to our audience. 
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