Synapse is a collaborative research platform that helps you and your team share, organize, and discuss your scientific research. Whether you are part of a small private team or global consortia, Synapse offers tools to help you make connections across datasets, code, and other insights.
Who manages Synapse?
Synapse was created and is managed by Sage Bionetworks (that’s us!)
Sage is a nonprofit health research organization based in Seattle, Washington. We were founded in 2009 on the basis of open science and patient advocacy. We aim to promote reproducible research and responsible data sharing throughout the biomedical community. That’s why we created Synapse.
Ethical use of data is of the utmost importance to Sage, and we employ robust governance policies and procedures to monitor compliance and ensure data privacy.
In addition to, and in conjunction with Synapse, Sage operates multiple platforms and data portals that serve the current and future needs of our communities.
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How does Synapse help scientific research?
Synapse is helping scientists in several ways:
Building community around data sharing: Synapse hosts many research communities and open scientific resources. It is a central place where researchers can come together to share data and collaborate. Data can be annotated and queried in one place, even if it is physically stored in different locations.
Making research more reproducible: Most research projects are complex and change over time. Synapse helps you track who performed what parts of an analysis. It also tracks when data was added or changed within a project, and it helps you understand how a dataset or an analysis evolved. These tools help you to publish reproducible work that can be used more easily by others.
Benchmarking and challenges: Tackling a complex problem alone can be difficult. Synapse hosts crowdsourced competitions, including DREAM Challenges, where many people come together to solve important computational problems or to compare analytical approaches.
Protecting sensitive data: Synapse is designed to keep sensitive data safe while still being shared responsibly. The platform offers built-in features to control who can access data and how that data can be used. Synapse is also backed by a governance team who routinely monitor data use and who set policies and procedures to govern data access.
Accessing data programmatically: If you are a programmer, you can also access Synapse through a REST API, Python client, R client, or command line client. Accessing Synapse programmatically allows you to seamlessly integrate Synapse with your scientific computing and analytical workflows.