Broad engagement with the neuroscience community is necessary for the optimization, integration, and adoption of the Resource components.
We conduct five types of outreach activities that require different approaches:
1. Precursor Projects
Our Selection Process requires a "Precursor Project" for any new experiment modality to be included in DataJoint Elements.
A precursor project is a project that develops a DataJoint pipeline for its own experiments either independently or in collaboration with our team.
We reach out to teams who develop DataJoint pipelines for new experiment paradigms and modalities to identify essential design motifs, analysis tools, and related tools and interfaces.
We interview the core team to learn about their collaborative culture, practices, and procedures.
We jointly review their open-source code and their plans for disseminating it.
In many cases, our team already collaborates with such teams through our other projects and we have a good understanding of their process.
As we develop a new Element to support the new modality, we remain in contact with the team to include their contribution, solicit feedback, and evaluate design tradeoffs,
When the new Element is released, a full attribution is given to the Precursor Project.
Rationale: The Resource does not aim to develop fundamentally new solutions for neurophysiology data acquisition and analysis. Rather it aims to systematize and disseminate existing open-source tools proven in leading research projects.
2. Tool Developers
DataJoint pipelines rely on analysis tools, atlases, data standards, archives and catalogs, and other neuroinformatics resources developed and maintained by the broader scientific community. To ensure sustainability of the Resource, we reach out to the tool developer to establish joint sustainability roadmaps.
3. Validation Sites
Before new Resource components are released as part of this Resource, our team engages other research groups to evaluate these components in their projects in realistic scenarios experiments. During the Alpha testing period, the validation sites set up the workflow by either integrating Resource components with their existing workflow or by combining only the Resource components with the help of our team. We evaluate the feedback and upgrade our Resource components accordingly during this process.
We conduct activities to disseminate Resource components for adoption in diverse neuroscience labs. These activities include
- A central website for the Resource. Presently, the site https://elements.datajoint.io serves this purpose.
- Conference talks, presentations, and workshops
- Publications in peer-reviewed journals
- White papers posted on internet resources and websites
- On-site workshops by invitation
- Remote workshops and webinars
- Online interactive tutorials
In order to measure the effectiveness of the Resource, we conduct several activities to estimate the adoption and use of the Resource components:
- A citation mechanims for individual components of the Resource
- Collect summary statistics of the number of downloads and repository forking.
- A register for self-reporting for component adoption and use.