Age-ility dataset first of its kind

Associate Professor Frini Karayanidis from the University of Newcastle's School of Psychology is leading the way in open access data together with her team.

Age-ility projectSix UON academics along with researchers from the Netherlands, Canada and Australia just completed collection of a large multi-disciplinary data set as part of an ARC Discovery Project. This project includes a unique neuroimaging data set, with functional and structural MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and EEG (electroencephalogram) from healthy young people. The Age-ility Project (Phase 1) imaging data set has become the focus of a publication in a special issue of the prestigious journal, NeuroImage, which emphasises the importance of open access of neuroimaging data. In conjunction with this publication, this data set has been placed on the NITRC repository, an USA National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded initiative aimed at sharing data and technology.

Open access data is becoming increasingly important to the international research community, as every funding dollar has to go further. Large imaging data sets are very laborious and expensive to acquire. Funding bodies in Australia and overseas are strongly advocating for data and resource sharing across the scientific community in order to minimise duplication and maximise efficiency. This makes data collected for one study accessible to researchers around the world who can use the data to address a range of different questions, including development of new analyses approaches and integration across different methodologies.

Data sharing creates opportunities for new national and international research collaborations, and more importantly, provides an invaluable educational resource for young researchers who do not have access to such expensive resources at their own institution.The international demand for such data sets is evidenced by the fact that, although the paper is still in press, the Age-ility Project (Phase 1) imaging data set on the NITRC repository has already had over 190 downloads. 

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