Open data are a boon for underfunded researchers

University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.

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As an underfunded clinical researcher working in Jordan, I am limited to pursuing inexpensive observational studies that are based on patients’ records. Happily, open-access data from repositories around the world have enabled me to make a bigger contribution to science.

My best experience was with the Biologic Specimen and Data Repository Information Coordinating Center, which curates data from large studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. I was able to access rigorous, high-quality data from almost 1,200 people with an inflammatory disease known as sarcoidosis, along with a control group. In Jordan, it would take me until I retired to generate this much data first-hand.

Our results will be published in the journal that hosted the original data. We completed two more studies on the same data set within six months (see S. A. AlRyalat et al. Curr. Respir. Med. Rev. 13, 241–246; 2017).

Nature 563, 184 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-07310-3
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