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Dr. Hogan Publishes Article on Reuse of Research Data and Software

Dr. William Hogan, Director of the Data Science Institute, published an article in the Journal of Biomedical Informatics on the reuse of research data and software. Dr. Hogan is the Mary T. and Ted D. Kellner Chair in Data Science.

The article, entitled “Towards Machine-FAIR: Representing software and datasets to facilitate reuse and scientific discovery by machines”, envisions computers automatically recommending new uses of software and data generated by research to answer research questions.

The explosive growth in the number of software applications and research datasets available makes the problem of reuse challenging. Humans simply cannot sift through them all to find every potential new reuse of a software application or a dataset.

“We identified a set of requirements for so-called ‘metadata’ about datasets and software applications necessary to enable computers automatically compose novel computational workflows of data and software”, said Dr. Hogan. “It’s one big step on the path to automating science more fully.”

The lead author on the paper, Dr. Michael M. Wagner, is Dr. Hogan’s longstanding mentor and colleague in data science and informatics of nearly 30 years. Now retired, Dr. Wagner served as Dr. Hogan’s Master’s thesis advisor and recruited Dr. Hogan to his first faculty appointment at the University of Pittsburgh.

Drs. Hogan and Wagner now seek to implement many of their recommendations and evaluate their impact, including developing test collections in domains other than the one they studied.