Big Data and Open Science

New methods are changing the culture of the scientific community, making research more widely accessible and more effective.

Unlocking the secrets of the developing brain requires a fundamental change in the way the scientific community conducts research. Scientists at the Child Mind Institute are contributing to this change using two revolutionary approaches: Big Data and Open Science. With Big Data, we collect massive amounts of information to fuel discovery science. With Open Science, we make that data and the tools to analyze it free and accessible to researchers around the world. Taken together, this free sharing of data with researchers across disciplines is advancing the science of the developing brain and changing the way we understand and treat children with mental health and learning disorders.

The Child Mind Institute is committed to freely sharing all datasets collected with the larger scientific community — on a prospective, prepublication basis. To date, thousands of researchers from 2,500 cities around the world have accessed our data, publishing more than 700 articles. If the Child Mind Institute alone had analyzed the data, that number would be 50.  We believe this “open science” philosophy marks a sea change in the culture of research in developmental neuroscience that will accelerate the pace of discovery and create meaningful change for children, families and communities when and where they need it most.