Open science practices in space biology: NASA’s GeneLab

Don Petit/NASA (2012)

GeneLab is a recently implemented open science program from NASA’s Division of Biological and Physical Sciences. It is an interactive open-access database, specimen repository, and collaboration space that hosts omics data generated in investigations on the International Space Station, other spaceflight platforms, and in space-relevant ground studies.

GeneLab Strategic Plan/NASA (2014)

With a focus on plant science, this case study examines the data processing and -sharing practices enabled by GeneLab, the role of the ‘Analysis Working Groups’ where researchers come together to analyse datasets, the ways in which the intricate experimental conventions of spaceflight experiments get inscribed in the data, and how the space plant biology community is engaging with the program.

The goal is to shed light on how open science practices are transforming the research program in this field, and the complex relationship between the principles of maximizing discovery and democratizing access.

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