Innovation That Matters

Social site for data scientists boosts collaboration


Launching as invitation-only,’s key tenets are open, secure, social and linked — the first social networking platform where data is the focus., a new public benefit corporation based in Texas, has opened its social networking platform to invited researchers. Seeded with nearly 1,000 datasets, hopes to transform research. Publicly available datasets are made machine-readable, discoverable and available for collaborative work.

Previously, researchers had no real-time way of connecting with others working on the same information. Members first create a profile and attach a photo, then they can upload data and follow projects. Through semantic web technology, the platform provides data recommendations to members.

Initially invitation-only, a public launch is being planned for later in the year. Membership is free, as is access to publicly available sets of data. Anyone wanting to work on private datasets must pay a fee. As more people join the network, the team believes big data will finally begin to fulfill its revolutionizing promises.

We’ve seen a niche version of this idea with this international online collaboration platform for HIV vaccine research. Where else could the power of connectivity help to improve research methods?



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