In May 2009, dozens of scientists gathered in Toronto to reaffirm and refine policies related to the early release of genomic data and to discuss extending policies to include other types of large biological data sets from proteomics, biobanking and metabolite research. The primary result of the policies review was a set of best practices for funders, scientists and journal editors. Dr. Chris Gunter, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and director of research affairs, moderated a session at the Toronto Data Release Workshop. “This is the third international meeting to convene for the purpose of providing guidance to key stakeholders,” noted Gunter. These highly participatory gatherings, she added, help toward promoting widespread consensus and acceptance.
Dr. Tom Hudson, member of the HudsonAlpha Scientific Advisory Board and president of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, also moderated a workshop session. Both Gunter and Hudson are chief architects of the documentation process and authors of an article appearing in the September 10 issue of Nature. An online forum is available for Nature readers to post comments.