Datathons: fostering equitability in data reuse in ecology

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Stephanie Jurburg, Maria J. Alvarez Blanco , Antonis Chatzinotas, Anahita Kazem, Birgitta Koenig-Ries, Doreen Babin, Kornelia Smalla, Victoria Cerecetto, Gabriela Fernandez-Gnecco, Fernanda Covacevich, Emilce Viruel, Yesica Bernaschina, Carolina Leoni, Silvia Garaycochea, Jose. A Terra, Pablo FRESIA CORONEL, Eva Lucía Margarita Figuerola, Luis Gabriel Wall, Julieta Mariana Covelli, Ana Carolina Agnello, Esteban Emanuel Nieto, Sabrina Festa, Lina Edith Dominici, Marco Allegrini, María Celina Zabaloy, Marianela Estefanía Morales, Leonardo Erijman, Anahi Coniglio, Fabricio Dario Cassán, Sofia Nievas, Diego M. Roldán, Rodolfo Menes, Patricia Vaz Jauri, Carla Silva Marrero, Adriana Montañez Massa, María Adelina Morel Revetria, Ana Fernández-Scavino, Luciana Pereira Mora, Soledad Martínez, Juan Pablo Frene


In the midst of a looming global biodiversity crisis, approaches to rapidly collect, curate, catalog, and integrate biodiversity data at global scales are more important than ever before1. Historically, data collection and reuse have been linked to local access to funding for scientific research and infrastructure, generating blind spots in the distribution of biodiversity data. At the same time, areas with limited access to research funding, where biodiversity data are generated at a slower pace can benefit from data reuse to reinterpret extant data within novel contexts or at different scales in order to further the local development of excellent research. This is especially true for sequence-based biodiversity research, which can be prohibitively expensive. Here, we describe the first Datathon, a three-day event held among microbial ecologists in Argentina and Uruguay to a) improve the openness of local data and develop a rich database of bacterial communities sampled in this region, b) ensure that data providers are credited for data reuse, and 3) encourage and facilitate the reuse of this resource by local researchers through training. The event resulted in the deposition of novel datasets to public databases, the assembly of the largest collection of soil microbiomes in Argentina and Uruguay to date, and the formation of a collaborative consortium that aims to reuse the data in the future. While the event was focused on microbial ecology, this model may serve to further develop equitable data archiving, collection and reuse practices in other areas of ecology.



Biodiversity, Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Genetics, Genetics and Genomics, Genomics, Life Sciences, Microbiology


Microbiome, synthesis, global south, 16S rRNA gene


Published: 2023-10-06 03:38


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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The Data and Code necessary to replicate the figures are available at