Open-source project has no plans to commercialize.

Transparency in basic research is a hot topic these days. Scientists around the world struggle to share data and progress across disciplines and within their own field for various reasons. A pair of Ohio State University scientists has taken a huge step to making cross-pollination easier. 

Technology has made it possible to collect immense sets of data from instruments in labs that are proprietary, sometimes one-off machinery. 

OSU chemistry professor Philip Grandinetti’s research team created an open-source data-management system that will allow these data sets to be shared without involving gigantic files that eat bandwidth, and without losing crucial embedded metadata that helps explain the data sets.

The team has no plans for commercialization of the project—in fact, the point of the project is to inspire free, open-source sharing around the world. 

Where adopted, the system should help crack open basic research data for anyone in academia or industry.

Cynthia Bent Findlay is a freelance writer.