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Community Newsletter: Open-data fails, decoding GABA reuptake, peer reviewer duels

by  /  12 June 2022
Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Illustration by Laurène Boglio

Raw data drive scientific progress — and increasingly so. Yet the ubiquitous data availability statements in most research papers are useless, according to a new analysis that got a lot of Sci-Twitter attention this week.

The vast majority of more than 2,000 authors who wrote that their data were available upon request “did not respond or declined to share” it, tweeted Livia Puljak, professor at the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine and Health Care at the Catholic University of Croatia in Zagreb, about her new work.

The tweet garnered more than 4,000 retweets and 700 quote tweets in a day. Some pointed fingers at journals for lax enforcement of their data-sharing policies. Others, including Daniel Kleinman, research scientist at Haskings Laboratories at Yale University, called on reviewers to push authors toward better open-data practices.

A lack of surprise featured in many of the tweets, including one from Rachel Buckley, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard University. But Buckley did also express some hope that things might change, at least for medical research communities in the United States.

Beyond peer-review pressure and rule changes, open-data repositories and initiatives such as the Open Science Framework also stand to boost data-sharing, tweeted Kurt Gray, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A series of retweets and quote tweets similarly trailed an “inaugural paper” alert from Cornelius Gati’s new lab at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The assistant professor of biology shared a thread about the new work on GABA reuptake inhibition, replete with a virtual flythrough loop showing how the anticonvulsant drug tiagabine binds to a human GABA transporter.

Many congratulations to the Gati Lab @CorneliusGati for this beautiful work,” tweeted Hamidreza Shaye, postdoctoral researcher of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University in California, who worked on the team.

Fantastic work!” tweeted Vikas Navratna, research investigator at the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

We’ll leave you this week with the mental image of a peer reviewer duel, courtesy of Kristen Bottema-Beutel, associate professor of teaching, curriculum, and society at Boston College in Newton, Massachusetts, who tweeted about “Taking my reviewer 2 status to new heights.”

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

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