EMBL EBI: Bioinformatics for Principal Investigators

On the 17th of June, 4TU.ResearchData’s data trainer, Eirini Zormpa, and community manager, Connie Clare, delivered a 3-hour workshop on ‘Planning your data management’ during the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) course on ‘Bioinformatics for Principal Investigators’. 

Nineteen international participants joined the workshop to learn about data management plans (DMPs); why they are needed; what information needs to be included; and, how to use the DMPonline tool to create a DMP. 

You can download and reuse our workshop slides.

A PI’s perspective

The workshop kicked off with a series of Menti questions to get to know the audience. 

Around >76% of participants admitted that their research data management workflow could be improved and/or that they need help, and more than half (56%) of the participants reported that they had never completed or heard of a DMP before the session.  

Questions about reproducible research revealed that more than 90% of participants believed that there is a ‘reproducibility crisis’.

These results closely align with those reported in the Nature paper, ‘1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility’.

The vast majority of participants had previously failed to reproduce someone else’s work (92%) and/or their own work (86%). They believed reasons for this lack of reproducibility could be due to:

  • Poor study design
  • Poor data analysis 
  • Lack of documentation and methodological detail
  • Biological noise and variation
  • A problem with reagents (wet-lab)
  • Incorrect interpretation of results
  • Study/reporting bias

In general, the participants took a positive view on data sharing. Around 69% of participants had used a data repository to publish their data. They reported that publishing their data has helped them to: 

  • Boost their CV
  • Comply with policy requirements (e.g. publishers) 
  • Safely store and preserve large datasets 
  • Improve long-term findability of their data
  • Share data with collaborators 
  • Make their data available for reuse

Feedback gathered after the workshop revealed that 23% of participants thought that the session was ‘Good’; 23% thought it was ‘Very Good’; and, 54% thought it was ‘Excellent’.

Thank you to the cohort of principal investigators who made this workshop fun and interactive!

Special thanks to Sarah Morgan, Jane Reynolds and Patricia Carvajal from EMBL-EBI for the invitation to deliver this workshop, and to Yasemin Türkyilmaz van der Velden (TU Delft) and Marta Teperek (4TU.ResearchData) for the organisational support.

Written by Connie Clare and edited by Eirini Zormpa (4TU.ResearchData)

Related Articles


Leave a comment!