How to Participate

Become a User

Access to Use the BRAIN Commons is Tiered:

BRAIN Commons - DataZone 1 – Public Access

  • Any User can access Zone 1 by registering with a valid email (public access).

BRAIN Commons - DataZone 2 – Qualified Access

  • All Qualified Researchers with DAC approval have access to shared, restricted-access research data.

BRAIN Commons - DataZone 3 – Private Access

  • All Qualified Researchers with DAC approval AND Cohort-specific permission have access to restricted-access research data.

STEP 1:  Establish an account in the BRAIN Commons through the registration process in which you provide your name and email address, prompting an instantaneous verification step.

STEP 2: Once you are verified, you will be onboarded into the BRAIN Commons Cognitive CityTM by answering questions on how you plan to interact with the platform: what kind of data you would like to use, what data analysis tools you are most familiar with, etc.  Your answers will place you within the Cognitive City (into a neighborhood, if you will) so that your experience within the Commons is tailored to your interests and skill sets. Note: If you opt out of answering these questions, the system will locate you within the community, and your future actions will generate suggestions for pertinent data and tools.

The onboarding process also provides a simple tutorial into one of the customized tools built for the BRAIN Commons.

You have immediate access to Zone 1 data and tools upon completion of these steps.

STEP 3:  To apply for access to Zone 2 (Qualified Access) data and/or Zone 3 (Private Access) data, you will need to complete the Data Use Policy which requires institutional sign-off.

For information on becoming a BRAIN Commons Partner, Sponsor or Member, click here.

Become a Data Contributor

The BRAIN Commons and its utility will grow with the Community and its interest in sharing high-quality, well annotated datasets.  If you are interested in becoming a BRAIN Commons data contributor, please contact us. Transfer of data to the BRAIN Commons does not imply any change in ownership or governance of that data, and the data contributor may later request data removal.

The first step in contributing data is connecting with the Data Access Committee (DAC) by completing a Data Contributor Agreement and submitting a Data Inventory Form.  The Committee will confirm whether your data meet criteria (including type, completeness, annotation, regulatory, and sponsorship, at a minimum). 

Once authorized, you will be assigned a Data Steward to guide you through the data ingestion process, including working with a data curation expert should that be necessary. At this point, you will be provided with a timeline for preparation and upload of data and credentials to access the data submission portal.

  • 1. Review and Sign Legal Agreement

    Data contributor agreement and data use policy

  • 2. Prepare inventory

    Data inventory for project participation

  • 3. Prepare metadata

    Review data model schema. Create TSVs for each mode in graph.

  • 4. Submit metadata

    Send TSV files to the Data Commons

  • 5. Upload Data

    Upload raw data

Become a Builder

Developers and data scientists will find a niche in the BRAIN Commons. The BRAIN Commons Builders Studio is a low code development environment where users can build components or reuse other’s components, to build data application pipelines where data flow between components to form the basis of endless use cases.

Select and project tabular data into a network diagram. Sort unstructured data into a table.
All this happens in the dataflow, not to the data itself.

Components accommodate the data, according to the user’s purpose. You can use any Javascript, Python or R library or any technology that you can connect to with these languages. For data access and processing, you can work with relational or graph databases, Hadoop and Spark, flat files, and RESTful APIs. At the algorithmic layer, you’ve got a wide array of open-source data science tools at your fingertips. Same goes for data visualization and user interface. You can use components off the shelf, edit them, or create your own.

For more information on the Builders Studio, click here.