Challenges and opportunities in sharing microbiome data and analyses.
Microbiome data, metadata and analytical workflows have become 'big' in terms of volume and complexity. Although the infrastructure and technologies to share data have been established, the interdisciplinary and multi-omic nature of the field can make resources difficult to identify and use. Following best practices for data deposition requires substantial effort, with sometimes little obvious reward. Gaps remain where microbiome-specific resources for data sharing or reproducibility do not yet exist. We outline available best practices, challenges to their adoption and opportunities in data sharing in microbiome research. We showcase examples of best practices and advocate for their enforcement and incentivization for data sharing. This includes recognition of data curation and sharing endeavours by individuals, institutions, journals and funders. Opportunities for progress include enabling microbiome-specific databases to incorporate future methods for data analysis, integration and reuse.
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